With the recent advent of whole genome and transcriptome sequencing technologies, long non-coding RNAs have been brought into the spotlight in molecular biology. H19 was one of the first reported long non-coding RNAs; its expression is high in embryonic organs and absent or greatly reduced in most adult tissues. Accumulating evidence suggests that H19 plays crucial roles in embryogenesis. However, its levels are increased in different cancers, including breast, hepato-gastrointestinal, urological, respiratory, and brain tumors. Although there have been several controversial reports as to whether H19 is oncogenic or tumor-suppressive, most studies have indicated that H19 is associated with growth, migration, invasion, and/or metastasis in many cancers; however, its reported functional mechanisms vary among cancer types. Furthermore, serum H19 levels in patients with certain cancers have been suggested to be useful for diagnosis and prognosis. Thus, H19 long non-coding RNA might be a candidate for development of promising therapeutic and diagnostic modalities for several cancers. The purpose of this review is to provide an inclusive report on the functional role of H19 in different cancers.