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Lewis Katz Dies in Plane Crash

June 1, 2014
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Lewis Katz

Lewis Katz, 72, co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com, as well as a major philanthropist in the Jewish world, passed away on Saturday night after the crash of a private jet in Massachusetts.

Katz had recently won the auction of the parent company of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News with a bid of $88 million during a closed-door session, along with "Gerry” Lenfest.

Katz has donated to three Jewish Community Centers in South Jersey, and the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill is named after his parents, Milton and Betty. He was also inducted into the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame as a 2012 Pillar of Achievement honoree for his track record as a sports team impresario.

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates the Hanscom Field in Massachusettes, confirmed that Katz died along with six other passengers in the accident.

"Lewis Katz was an exceptional man, whose presence enriched the lives of everyone he came in contact with,"  Inquirer editor Bill Marimow told Philly.com. "He never forgot his friends or his roots, giving back generously to the city of Camden, Temple University, Dickinson College's law school, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and countless other organizations.

"He loved his family and his friends and they loved him back in return. We've lost a great friend."

The site also quoted Lenfest as saying that Drew Katz, Lewis' son, will replace his father on the board of the new company.

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