The Law School community is saddened by the loss of Lewis Katz, a member of the Class of 1966, who passed away unexpectedly on May 31. The Law School’s buildings in University Park and Carlisle bear his name.
"The news of Lewis Katz's untimely death is a tragedy. As an alumnus, he was generous in his support of Penn State Dickinson School of Law and his gifts bear his name on two campuses. We are saddened by this news and our hearts go out to all who knew him. He cared deeply for the law school and he will be missed," said James Houck, interim dean of the Law School.
In 2007, Katz made an unprecedented $15 million gift to The Dickinson School of Law, one of the single largest acts of philanthropy in Penn State's history.
Katz was an owner of the New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils and served as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Basketball Association. He was a shareholder in the New York Yankees and a former owner of the New Jersey Devils hockey team. In each of those enterprises, he pledged a share of team profits to benefit inner-city youth. At the time of his death, he was co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Katz was a founder of Katz, Ettin and Levine, the law firm he founded in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is the former owner of Kinney Parking Systems, the largest parking company in New York City, and the former chairman of Interstate Outdoor Advertising, one of the largest regional outdoor-advertising firms in the country. He served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center.
Katz supported a number of charitable and philanthropic causes and was director of the Katz Foundation.
A native of Camden, New Jersey, Katz established several programs to help the children of Camden, one of the nation's poorest cities. He helped build two Boys and Girls Clubs that serve nearly 3,000 young people each year. Katz also helped build Jewish Community Centers in New Jersey.
Katz served on the Board of Trustees of Temple University, his alma mater. He was a member of the former Board of Trustees and current Board of Counselors of The Dickinson School of Law, where he graduated first in his class.