Monday, August 3, 2015

Lewis Katz, 1942-2014

Daily News co-owner Lewis Katz leaves a rich legacy.

Lewis Katz, 1942-2014

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Lewis Katz (with Daily News co-owner Gerry Lenfest) on the future of journalism in Philadelphia:

As local people fortunate enough to now be owners of important media, we are determined to ensure that our team of award-winning journalists provides you with the most comprehensive reporting in the Philadelphia region. Our readers expect this and deserve it. Marketers expect this, too, and we certainly will help them by being an advertising medium that shoppers respond to.

In the days ahead, you can expect to see a new level of ambition and journalism excellence. We won't waver for a moment to document the region's ills where we find them - but we will also celebrate our many successes with stories that delight and lighten the day with both humor and joy.

As you probably know, Lew Katz didn't live to see that vision become a reality. By the time this article was published, the 72-year-old businessman and philanthropist had already died in a Massachusetts plane crash, along with three of his friends and the three-person crew. I only met him a couple of times, for a few short seconds, after he first bought into the Philadelphia newspapers in 2012, but it was clear to everyone that he loved the news and loved a good story. Indeed a chance encounter with a famed muckraking journalist of the 1950s and '60s, Drew Pearson, led to Katz' first job working as Pearson's assistant, the start of a rocket-like path to success.

He named his only son, Drew, for the investigative reporter, and now it will be 42-year-old Drew Katz who is tasked with carrying out his father's vision. Our prayers and condolences are with him, the rest of his family, and the friends of Lewis Katz as they move his legacy forward.

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Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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