Reginald F. Lewis – America’s First Black Billion Dollar Businessman

October 12, 2018 6:20 pm
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Profiles of African-American Success: Reginald Lewis
by Bayer Mack

Reginald F. Lewis (December 7, 1942 – January 19, 1993), was an 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 economics in 1965. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1968 and was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi.

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 to build a billion dollar company, Beatrice Foods.

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