Lewis Katz was a successful man who rose from humble rowhouse beginnings to build a dynamic business empire. Itâ€™s a story that could be told of other men. What was special about Katz, though, was that he did it with heart.
Some entrepreneurs find human kindness gets in their way. It never stopped Katz, though. His vision encompassed whole communities. The sports teams he owned were centers of community spirit; he knew that and fostered it.
Much of the wealth he raised he spent on countless charitable acts large and small. Schools and childrenâ€™s clubs flourished. Temple University, his alma mater, he handsomely endowed.
His last coup as a businessman was clearly an act of civic spirit. In engineering a complex contested takeover of Interstate General Media, the parent of the Inquirer, the Daily News and Philly.com, rest assured he was not driven by dreams of controlling a cash cow. Newspapers are a tough industry these days and he knew that.
He wanted a newspaper because he wanted his town to have a newspaper. Because he had a vision of the kind of voice his community deserved to have. He went after it and, as was often the case, got what he wanted â€“ for other people.
We honor his memory.