BALTIMORE—Titans of the nation’s financial and political community will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the November 1987 billion-dollar acquisition of Beatrice International Foods by Reginald Lewis, a Baltimore native who blazed trails in finance and corporate law. The celebration will occur on Nov. 30 in New York City at the exclusive Harvard Club and will benefit the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture in Baltimore.
At the celebration, Lewis’ widow Loida Nicolas Lewis, a Filipino American and distinguished businesswoman in her own right, will be joined by financier Michael Milken, CNN analyst Roland Martin, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and representatives of J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, GE Asset Management, Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg, Ariel Capital and American Express.
“My husband worked for the day when success can be enjoyed by people regardless of race or background. Through tenacity, hard work and determination, he paved the way for others to do the same today,” said Mrs. Lewis. “There are many people who have been inspired by his life to pursue their dreams and to ‘Keep going, no matter what.’
Milken, who began financing in 1969 and has since financed 3,200 companies and created millions of jobs while accelerating medical solutions for a wide range of life-threatening diseases, will be the featured speaker at the affair which will include a video of Reginald Lewis’ life.
Lewis attended Virginia State University and then Harvard Law School. He became a lawyer at the top New York firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind & Garrison before establishing his own firm of Lewis & Clarkson.
Lewis wanted to do his own deals and formed TLC Group in 1983. His first success was the leveraged buyout of McCall Pattern Company, a 113-year-old home sewing pattern company, realizing a 90-to-1 return for his investors. One of Lewis’ motivations was to “disprove a lie” about people of color. He gave $10 million to various educational, cultural, health and civil rights causes. His career was cut short when he died following a short illness in 1993 at the age of 50.
Today, his name graces the International Law Building at Harvard Law School, a building at Virginia State University and the Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.reginaldflewis.com
In celebration of this special 25th anniversary, a special commemorative edition of Lewis’ biography, “Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun? How Reginald Lewis Created A Billion-Dollar Business Empire,” is being re-issued by Black Classic Press. It is available on www.blackclassicbooks.com.