Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire by Reginald F. Lewis, Blair S. Walker | | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire

Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire

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by Reginald F. Lewis, Blair S. Walker
     
 

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Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun? is the inspiring story of Reginald Lewis: lawyer, Wall Street wizard, philanthropist — and the wealthiest black man in American history.

When six-year-old Reginald Lewis overheard his grandparents discussing employment discrimination against African Americans, he asked, “Why should white guys have all the

Overview

Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun? is the inspiring story of Reginald Lewis: lawyer, Wall Street wizard, philanthropist — and the wealthiest black man in American history.

When six-year-old Reginald Lewis overheard his grandparents discussing employment discrimination against African Americans, he asked, “Why should white guys have all the fun?" This self-assured child would grow up to become the CEO of Beatrice International and one of the most successful entrepreneurs ever. At the time of his death in 1993, his personal fortune was estimated in excess of $400 million and his vast commercial empire spanned four continents. Despite the notoriety surrounding Lewis's financial coups, little has been written about the life of this remarkable man. Based on Lewis's unfinished autobiography, as well as scores of interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, the book cuts through the myth and media hype to reveal the man behind the legend. What emerges is a vivid portrait of a proud, fiercely determined individual with a razor-sharp tongue — and an intellect to match — who would settle for nothing less than excellence from himself and others.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This biography of business magnate Lewis is based on his unfinished autobiography; he died in 1993 at age 50 from brain cancer. Walker, who writes for the ``Money'' section of USA Today, completed the book after interviewing Lewis's family, friends, colleagues and employees. Lewis, growing up in an African American family in segregated Baltimore, attended parochial school, worked his way through college and Harvard Law and became a successful attorney and highly visible business executive, capping his career with the leveraged buyout of conglomerate Beatrice International Foods for $985 billion in 1987. His personal fortune was $400 million, we learn in this inspiring bio/business study, which deftly conveys Lewis's concerns not only about his work but also about his family, race and his own death. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Black Enterprise. (Nov.)
Library Journal
This work tells the story of a black man who rose to become a top CEO. [Reviewed on p. 82.]
School Library Journal
YA-Even as a small child, Lewis's goal was to become the richest black man in America. When he died of brain cancer at age 50 in 1993, he was worth over $400 million and was considered by Forbes magazine to be one of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Not only was he an extremely successful businessman, but he was also a caring philanthropist. His journey from middle-class Baltimore resident to international citizen makes for fascinating reading. He was in the process of writing his autobiography when he died, and Walker consulted many sources in order to give a full and accurate account of this intense, goal-oriented man's life. Lewis's words appear in italics; Walker's, in Roman typeface, provide additional information. Walker discusses his subject's private life, but he concentrates more on the business aspects. This is enough. It is inspiring to see how one individual can plan ahead and overcome both racial and financial obstacles to become such a world-wide success.-Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
Brad Hooper
Lewis' in-your-face title emphasizes the fact that in the high-stakes games of leveraged buyouts and deal making that were played in the 1980s, none of the participants were black until he came along. Lewis died of brain cancer in 1993 at the age of 50; he had begun work on his autobiography, which forms the basis of this book and which was completed by Walker, a financial writer for "USA Today". The story of Lewis' journey from east Baltimore's ghetto to Harvard Law School to Wall Street makes fascinating and inspiring reading.
David Rouse
Lewis' "in-your-face" title emphasizes the fact that in the high-stakes games of leveraged buyouts and dealmaking that were played in the 1980s, none of the participants were African American until he came along. In 1984, with only $1 million in equity, he leveraged the $25 million purchase of McCall's Pattern Company, and four years later he sold it for $63 million, pocketing $50 million. Shortly after that he successfully acquired Beatrice International, the huge food conglomerate with holdings in 31 countries. Lewis' personal fortune grew to $400 million and he was an active philanthropist, giving $3 million to Harvard University and $1 million to Howard University. Lewis died at the age of 50 of brain cancer in January 1993. He had successfully avoided the press but had begun work on his autobiography, which forms the basis of this book and which was completed by Walker, a financial writer for "USA Today". The story of Lewis' journey from east Baltimore's ghetto to Harvard Law School to Wall Street to the awareness of his impending death makes both fascinating and inspiring reading.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781574780536
Publisher:
Black Classic Press
Publication date:
08/26/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
318
Sales rank:
168,898
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Reginald F. Lewis was chairman, chief executive officer, and principle shareholder of TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc., until his untimely death of brain cancer in January 1993. He was fifty years old when he died.

Blair Walker is a former financial reporter with USA Today. He has been writing professionaly since 1980. He has been an editor with New York Newsday and the Washington Post, and has been a reporter witht he Baltimore Sun and the Chicago bureau of The Associated Press. Blair has also freelanced for Emerge, AutoWeek, Fortune, Africans Americans on Wheels and BET Weekend magazines. He currently lives with his family in Columbia, Maryland.

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Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have recommended this book to numerous people. A must read to anyone interested in an inspiring story of one's commitment and drive
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This work tells the story of a black man who rose to become a top CEO. Author BLAIR S. WALKER, discusses the chronicle of his subject's private life based on dozens of interviews and also consulting many sources and borrowing on an unfinished autobiography Reginald Lewis wrote shortly before his death from brain cancer in order to give a full and accurate account of this intense, goal-oriented man's life. If motivation and inspiration is what you seek, you will find it in various chapters throughout the book. Power packed with valuable business lessons on deal making and negotiations, this book has the ability to cultivate your mind set in many a positive ways. Lewis was a tough- minded narcissistic individual. He was a man set on being an exception to life's ugly stereotypes towards African Americans. Although the book does fall short in not talking about the deaths of two keystone figures in Lewis's life which was his grand pop and grand mom who were considered some of his greatest strength as a boy. Lewis and his two LBO's became a greater success than the famous 'burning bed' blunder by the former First Boston. Overall, you will find this book an entertaining read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an extremely interesting biography! It gives hope that anyone can succeed in a huge way. Strongly recommended to anyone who wants to succeed in businees.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the first books I read when I became truly interested in entering the world of business. As a young afro-american man, it gave me inspiration in a world where all I saw around me was successful men of every other nationality but mine. It shows us that with hard work and persistance, the ground becomes level, and your success becomes equal with your abilities.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has re-defined how I do business in corporate america. Reggie's story showed me how to break through the glass ceilings. This story is one that all young entrepreneurs should read regardless of your race. The hardest thing to believe is that these people actually made all that money!