Reginald F. Lewis was recognized as a businessman who was classified as the richest African-American man during the 1980s.
Here are some other amazing facts to know about the business mogul of the 1980s:
1. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Reginald F. Lewis grew up in a middle-class neighborhood.
2. Won a football scholarship to Virginia State College, graduating with a degree in political science in 1965.
3. Chosen as one of the few black students to attend a summer school program at Harvard to introduce them to the legal studies, the program was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
4. Invited to attend Harvard Law School at the end of the summer school program – the only person in the 148-year history of Harvard Law to be admitted before applying to the school.
5. Arrived at Harvard Law School with $50 in his pocket. During his third year at Harvard, he discovered the direction for his future career in a course on securities law. He wrote his third-year paper on takeovers.
6. Graduated from Harvard Law School in 1968 and went to work for a prestigious New York law firm (Paul, Weiss).
7. After 15 years as a corporate lawyer with his own practice, Lewis moved to the other side of the table by creating TLC Group L.P., a venture capital firm, in 1983.
8. First major deal was the purchase of the McCall Pattern Company, a home sewing pattern business for $22.5 million.
9. Purchased Beatrice International Foods from Beatrice Companies for $985 million, renaming it TLC Beatrice International, a snack food, beverage, and grocery store conglomerate that was the largest African-American owned and managed business in the U.S in 1987.
10. Established The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, which funded grants of approximately $10 million to various non-profit programs and organizations.
11. Desired to support a museum of African American culture was always known while alive.
12. The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture opened in Baltimore with support from a $5 million grant from his foundation. It is the East Coast’s second largest African American museum occupying an 82,000 square-foot facility.
13. Died on January 19, 1993, he was 50.