Media pioneer Lew Klein dies at 91

Lew Klein, a renowned name in the media industry, passed away at the age of 91. The founder of the Temple University Lew Klein School of Media and Communication, Lew Klein was a pioneer in his field, spreading knowledge and inspiring young minds for over six decades. It is hard to put into words just how much he has contributed to the world of media and communication. This blog post aims to provide a glimpse of the inspiring legacy left behind by Lew Klein.

Born in 1925, Lew Klein grew up in Germantown, Philadelphia. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy for two years, following which he attended New York University and the University of Pennsylvania. In the early years of his career, Klein worked as a television producer and director. One of his most notable productions was the landmark quiz show, “College Bowl.” The show was a big hit with audiences, and Klein’s reputation in the industry began to rise.

In 1952, Klein joined the faculty at Temple University, where he taught radio, television, and film courses. His enthusiasm, dedication, and passion for the field shone through, inspiring countless students who would go on to make their own mark in the world of media. In addition to teaching, Klein was actively involved with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, playing a key role in organizing the Emmy Awards for several decades.

Klein’s contributions to the media industry are too many to list, but his commitment to education is particularly noteworthy. He was a strong advocate for students and faculty members alike, and the Lew Klein School of Media and Communication that he founded has become a center of excellence, with state-of-the-art facilities and a rigorous curriculum. In addition to his work with Temple University, Klein was involved in many philanthropic endeavors and was a major supporter of the United Way.

In recognition of his immense contributions to the field of media and communication, Klein received numerous awards and honors over the years. In 2017, Temple University renamed its School of Media and Communication in his honor, much to the delight of Klein himself, who was deeply moved by the gesture. He even returned to the stage to receive an honorary degree from the school in 2019.

Lew Klein was a true legend in every sense of the word. He will be deeply missed, but his impact on the world of media and communication will endure for generations to come. Through his work at Temple University and beyond, he inspired countless students and professionals, leaving behind a legacy of excellence, innovation, and dedication to the highest values of the field. All of us in the world of media and communication owe him a debt of gratitude, and we will always remember him with great fondness and admiration. Let us keep his memory alive by continuing to strive for excellence in all that we do.

Klein was a true pioneer in the television industry. In 1952, he began teaching courses on the emerging medium at Temple University, setting the stage for a lifetime of influential work. Perhaps his most well-known contribution was the creation of American Bandstand, which he executive produced and which launched the careers of countless musicians and other performers. But despite this and his extensive work on the Phillies telecast, Klein’s greatest legacy may be the dozens of media professionals he helped shape and guide over the years. As the university release noted, his work with the late Dick Clark was just one example of the many careers he launched and nurtured during his impressive tenure.

Lew and Janet, the ultimate team, tackled life and its challenges together. Through thick and thin, they supported each other every step of the way. Their bond was an inspiration to anyone who witnessed it, and their love was palpable. The news of Lew’s passing has left an indelible mark on those who knew him and admired him. His extraordinary journey would not be complete without acknowledging the role Janet played in guiding and uplifting him. The memories of Lew’s larger-than-life personality will live on, and we hope that the unwavering love and support he received from his devoted wife will provide comfort to Janet and their loved ones in the days ahead. The PAB will always hold Lew and Janet dear to our hearts.

Klein was a true pioneer in the broadcasting industry, leaving a lasting impact that earned him numerous accolades throughout his career. His dedication and contributions to the field were recognized by several prestigious organizations, including the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, who awarded him the Gold Medal. Additionally, he was named “Broadcaster of the Year,” a well-deserved recognition of his exceptional leadership and achievements. It’s no wonder, then, that Klein was also the recipient of the NATPE President’s Award, further cementing his place as a true broadcasting luminary. But perhaps even more notable was his commitment to education in the field, as evidenced by his founding of the NATPE Educational Foundation and his receipt of the Distinguished Education Service Award from the Broadcast Education Association. Klein’s legacy in broadcasting and education will undoubtedly continue to inspire future generations.

Despite his considerable contributions to American media, Klein had not received the recognition he deserved. Boardman recognized this and was thrilled when the Temple school was renamed in Klein’s honor while he was still alive. Over lunch one day, Boardman expressed his belief that there was no better candidate for the renaming than Klein himself. Although his name may not have been as widely known as some others in the industry, Klein’s impact was undeniable. Boardman’s enthusiasm for the honor was a testament to the profound influence that Klein had on the world of media.

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