Lewis, Reginald F.

Lewis, Reginald F.

(1942–93) lawyer, financier; born in Baltimore, Md. A Harvard Law School graduate, he specialized in venture capital in his New York law career. He became one of the country's richest businessmen through his brief but profitable ownership of McCall Pattern Company (1983–87) and his $1 billion acquisition of the Beatrice Companies (1987). He was sometimes criticized for not taking a more prominent and activist role on behalf of his fellow African-Americans, but he preferred to serve as a role model and work quietly behind the scenes.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.