One of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s co-owners, Lewis Katz, was killed in a plane crash along with six others at a Massachusetts airfield on Saturday.
The 72-year old business mogul was aboard a private plane that crashed shortly after takeoff at 9:40 p.m. at Hanscom Field located in Bedford. According to the Massachusetts Port Authority, the Gulfstream IV was headed for New Jersey’s Atlantic City International Airport.
Katz had reportedly attended an event that afternoon at the home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in Concord.
“Lewis Katz was an exceptional man, whose presence enriched the lives of everyone he came in contact with,” said Bill Marimow, the Inquirer’s editor who confirmed Katz’s death.
Just last week, Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest took full control over the media company that owns the Inquirer. They bought out the other partners for a total of $88 million.
“We all deeply mourn the loss of my true friend and fellow investor in ownership of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com,” Lenfest said. “It is a severe loss, but I am pleased to announce that Drew Katz, Lewis’s son, will replace his father on the board of our new company.”
Katz grew up in Camden, New Jersey and made his fortune as an investor in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network as well as the Kinney parking company. At one time he was also the owner of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and the New Jersey Devils hockey team. He was a major donor to his Alma matter, Temple University.
“He taught me everything. He never forgot where and how he grew up and he worked tirelessly to support his community in countless ways that were seen and unseen,” his 42-year old son Drew Katz said. “His sudden passing adds to our family’s grief over the recent passing of our beloved mother, Marjorie Katz. We will miss both of them tremendously but will work to carry on the enormous legacy that they both created.”
Authorities did not immediately identify the cause of the fiery crash.