Reginald F. Lewis and the Making of a Billion Dollar Empire
Pioneers: Reginald F. Lewis and the Making of a Billion Dollar Empire chronicles the life of business pioneer Reginald F. Lewis. Lewis rose to prominence as a lawyer and leader of the global food company TLC Beatrice International. Lewis was the first African American to close an overseas billion dollar leveraged buyout deal with a global conglomerate of 64 companies in 31 countries.
>> He was a local paper boy who
became a Wall Street tycoon...
>> The thing that I admired
about Reginald Lewis -- he was a
take-charge kind of a guy.
>> ...breaking racial barriers
in the corporate world.
>> Reg Lewis, in many ways, was
the Jackie Robinson of business.
>> He bought a global
conglomerate, 64 companies
across 31 countries.
>> No African-American has done,
ever, a big deal like that.
>> Reginald F. Lewis, pioneer.
>> Support for this program has
been generously provided by...
and the following.
Reginald F. Lewis was born in
Baltimore, Maryland, in 1942.
He was raised by a tight-knit
family that nurtured a sound
education, unyielding pride, and
a strong work ethic.
>> My grandfather said, "Know
your job, and you'll never be in
>> By the 1950s, racial tensions
were deepening in Baltimore.
It was the site of one of the
nation's first sit-ins.
Schools were being desegregated,
and white flight was peaking.
>> So, when we moved here, all
the white people -- this was a
whole white block -- moved out.