Introducing ‘Reginald Lewis’ The First Black Billionaire

Reginald Lewis
Reginald Lewis
Reginald Lewis

Reginald Lewis

Introducing ‘Reginald Lewis’ The First Black Billionaire

Reginald F. Lewis (December 7, 1942 – January 19, 1993), was an Lawyer, Author, American Businessman. He was the richest African-American man in the 1980s. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he grew up in a middle-class neighborhood. He won a football scholarship to Virginia State College, graduating with a degree in political science in 1965. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1968.

In 1992, Forbes listed Lewis among the 400 richest Americans, with a net worth estimated at $400 million. He also was the first African-American business owner to build a billion dollar company, Beatrice Foods. In 1992, he donated $3 million to Harvard Law School, the largest grant at the time in the law school’s history.

Recruited to top New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP immediately after law school, Lewis left to start his own firm two years later. 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.

He’s also an Author of a powerful book “Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created A Billion-Dollar Business Empire.

Investment Banking Ventures

His first major deal was the purchase of the McCall Pattern Company, a home sewing pattern business for $22.5 million. Lewis had learned from a Fortune magazine article that the Esmark holding company, which had recently purchased Norton Simon, planned to divest from the McCall Pattern Company, a maker of home sewing patterns founded in 1870.

With fewer and fewer people sewing at home, McCall was seemingly on the decline—though it had posted profits of $6 million in 1983 on sales of $51.9 million. At the time, McCall was number two in its industry, holding 29.7 percent of the market, compared to industry leader Simplicity Patterns with 39.4 percent.

Reginald Lewis was married to Loida Nicolas-Lewis. They had two daughters, Leslie and Christina. He died at age 50, from brain cancer. Nicolas-Lewis took over the company a year after his death.

Bio Source: Reginald_Lewis/Bio

Official Website:

African American Legends: Loida Lewis on Reginald Lewis

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Keith J. Leigh

Keith J. Leigh is a spiritual advisor, philosopher, business owner, family man, author, and primal leader who contributes to greatness by sharing years of powerful experience and advance knowledge with the world. He's been in the E-Commerce, Entertainment, Technology, Real Estate and Mortgage Industries for over 15 years who specializes in business and family dynasty building. This author would like to remain mostly mysterious as power last longer behind the scenes. Magnate Lifestyle isn't your average website. Magnate: A person of rank, power, influence, or distinction often in a specified area. A “Business Magnate” (formally industrialist) refers to an entrepreneur of great influence, importance, or standing in a particular enterprise or field of business.

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