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Widow of Reginald F. Lewis addresses students at namesake high school

12/13/2013, 6 a.m.
Carolyn Fugett, Reginald Lewis’ mother; Loida Lewis, Reginald Lewis’ widow; first place scholarship winner Kavon M. Wiley; and Daric V. Jackson, principal, Reginald F. Lewis High School. Gar Roberts

— Reginald F. Lewis High School of Business and Law hosted a birthday celebration on Thursday, December 5, 2013 in honor of the school’s namesake, Reginald F. Lewis.

Daric Jackson, principal of Reginald F. Lewis High School welcomed Loida Lewis, widow of Reginald F. Lewis and Carolyn Fugett, Reginald's mother, as guests. Former CEO and founder of TLC Beatrice, Reginald Lewis was remembered at many activities scheduled by the students, teachers and staff.

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Brittany B. Player, second place scholarship winner

The morning event began with the planting of a memorial tree in honor of Lewis and continued with a forum where students read poems and excerpts from their award winning essays of how Lewis’ life inspires them. Students also participated in a Q&A with the guest speaker.

The three essay winners Kavon M. Wiley, Brittany B. Player, and Tajzhona Coaxum received college scholarship awards of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively, which were presented by Loida Lewis.

Reginald F. Lewis' friend and college roommate, Linwood (Lin) Hart, was the keynote speaker. He recently published a book “Reginald F. Lewis Before TLC Beatrice: The Young Man Before The Billion-Dollar Empire.” The book is a memoir of a critical period in Lewis' life and focuses on the ten years between 1956 and 1966, when, as Baltimore teenagers, Lewis and Hart were particularly close.

Before his death in 1997, Reginald F. Lewis' company, TLC Beatrice, became the first black owned company to make the Fortune 500 list, and he was considered the wealthiest African American of his time.