Books by Reginald F. Lewis

Released: Nov. 18, 1994

A serviceable biography of the black attorney/businessman whose accomplishments set a challenging standard for tycoons of any ethnic background. Before he died of brain cancer at age 50 early in 1993, Lewis had partially completed a memoir of his remarkable life and career. Drawing on these jottings, as well as on extensive interviews with his subject's close-knit family, friends, and associates, USA Today correspondent Walker offers a warts-and-all portrait of an irresistible force. From his East Baltimore boyhood on, the ultra- industrious Lewis planned, even schemed, to make himself a world- class success. Barely an average student at Virginia State, he finessed his way into Harvard Law School without even taking the entrance exam. After a two-year stint with the top-drawer Manhattan firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, he struck out on his own. Serving a lengthy apprenticeship as a specialist in minority- enterprise small-business-investment corporations, Lewis learned enough to become a player in the great takeover game that preoccupied Wall Street during the 1980s. After a couple of false starts, he masterminded a leveraged buyout of McCall Pattern Co., which in a few years yielded him and fellow investors a 90-to-1 return. With a little help from his friend Michael Milken, he went on to engineer another coup—the LBO for nearly one billion dollars of Beatrice International Foods. At the time of his death, Lewis had the Paris-based enterprise operating on an enviably profitable basis throughout Europe. This account of Lewis's achievements emphasizes his tough- minded, goal-oriented approach to personal and philanthropic as well as financial affairs. (16 pages of 28 photos, not seen) (First serial to Black Enterprise) Read full book review >