Edward J. Lewis

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Edward J. "Eddie" Lewis (May 30, 1937 – November 30, 2006) was an American businessman and philanthropist.

Biography[edit]

After graduating from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School on a full scholarship, he embarked upon a brief law career in Philadelphia before moving back to his native Pittsburgh.[1] His father was Eugene Lebowitz, a Hungarian-Jewish immigrant who lost family members to the Holocaust. Lewis changed his change from Lebowitz to Lewis to avoid antisemitism (with his fathers blessing). Lewis later joined his brother in law and father in several small real estate ventures, which quickly flourished into the multi-faceted real estate development corporation that is Oxford Development Company. [2][3]

Among his business accomplishments, Eddie Lewis is credited for developing the first two-story enclosed shopping mall in the United States, South Hills Village in suburban Pittsburgh, and virtually conceptualizing the modern American regional shopping mall thereafter. Additionally, Lewis was instrumental in developing much of what has become Aventura, FL, a city which he named, in South Florida, with developments including Aventura Mall, Turnberry Isle Resort and Club, and numerous high-end residential projects. Lewis' achievements in commercial real estate span numerous states and range from spiraling urban skyscrapers to suburban retail centers. Monroeville Mall in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and the One Oxford Centre skyscraper in downtown Pittsburgh were also projects led by Lewis and his Oxford Development. Both Lewis and Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. were partners in the One Oxford Center skyscraper project and made an offer to purchase the Pittsburgh Pirates major league baseball team in 1981.[4][5]

Despite keeping a low profile with the press, Lewis' famed yacht Monkey Business became an internationally-known household name after a visit by Presidential-hopeful Gary Hart sunk his political campaign.[6]

Lewis was the Chairman of the Board of his family-owned company, which continues to be a prominent player in commercial and residential real estate.

He died on November 30, 2006 from complications related to lung cancer. He is survived by his wife Anne and his children Jon, Cathy, Benjamin, and Andy. The family-owned company has been passed on to his wife, Anne, his four children, his sister Myrna and his brother-in-law Mark Mason. Longtime Oxford President David Matter continues to lead the company's day to day operations.[7]

Lewis was a generous donor to countless philanthropic causes, supporting the United Jewish Federation, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the ALS Association.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Edward J. Lewis". Oxford Development Company. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Dan Fitzpatrick (December 1, 2006). "Obituary: Edward Lewis / Pittsburgh developer built area's first malls". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Edward J. Lewis". Oxford Development Company. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  4. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=oYBIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rW0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=3370%2C606836
  5. ^ Dan Fitzpatrick (December 1, 2006). "Obituary: Edward Lewis / Pittsburgh developer built area's first malls". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Dan Fitzpatrick (December 1, 2006). "Obituary: Edward Lewis / Pittsburgh developer built area's first malls". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Dan Fitzpatrick (December 1, 2006). "Obituary: Edward Lewis / Pittsburgh developer built area's first malls". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Retrieved 19 June 2014.