Philanthropist Lewis Katz, co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, died in a plane crash in Massachusetts.
Although he concentrated his Jewish charitable giving in southern New Jersey, where he grew up and lived, he also made the lead gift to the Jewish Community Center in the Princeton area, which was to have been part of a planned Jewish community campus in West Windsor.
Katz, 72, died Saturday night at an airfield near Boston. The Gulfstream IV plane he was riding in with six other people crashed after takeoff from Hanscom Field, according to reports.
Philadelphia Inquirer editor Bill Marimow confirmed Katz’s death to the media on Sunday. The identities of the other passengers have not yet been released.
Katz and H.F. Gerry Lenfest last week bought out the newspaper’s other partners for $88 million.
Katz grew up in Camden, N.J. He was a benefactor of two Boys and Girls Clubs, the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey, Congregation Beth El, Temple University and to the Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill, which is named in memory of his parents.
Katz, who attended Temple University, is a former owner of the New Jersey Nets professional basketball team and the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils.
The cause of the crash currently is under investigation.
In 2012, Katz delivered the keynote address at a gala raising funds for a planned Jewish Community Campus in West Windsor, near Princeton. Plans for the campus were later shelved for lack of funding. The JCC operates from offices in Lawrenceville and holds activities in a number of venues since moving out of its last location in Ewing in 2006.