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Lew Klein has been associated with Temple University since 1952. Photo: Joseph V. Labolito
Lew Klein has been associated with Temple University since 1952. Photo: Joseph V. Labolito

Broadcast pioneer, Temple University icon Lew Klein passes away at 91

Temple University honored Klein by remaining the School of Media and Communication to the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication in 2017. 

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It's a sad day for Temple University media and communication students and alumni worldwide, as Lew Klein has passed away at the age of 91.

A Philadelphia broadcasting pioneer, professor and philanthropist, Mr. Klein has dedicated more than 60 years to the university, helping teach and mentor hundreds of media students over the course of his career. 

"Lew Klein has left an indelible imprint on the lives of countless Temple students who have gone on to build successful careers in media, communication and related fields. Those graduates are Lew's true gift to journalism. His influence will be felt for generations to come," Temple University Richard M. Englert said in a statement.

In 2017, the university renamed the School of Media and Communication to the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication in honor of his contributions to the university and in recognition of he and his wife's multimillion-dollar gift to the school.

Mr. Klein originally started his teaching career at Temple in 1952, where he was also working as an executive at WFIL-TV (now WPVI) in Philadelphia.

"Over his 67 years at Temple, Lew had a profound impact on thousands of careers, including my own. I could not be more proud to have our college graced with the name of this creative, generous and honorable man. We will miss him deeply," Klein College Dean David Boardman said in a statement.

In his 60-plus year career at Temple and beyond, Mr. Klein helped launch the careers of some of the biggest names in television, including comedian Bob Saget and the late television host Dick Clark.

Mr. Klein served as an executive producer for "American Bandstand," produced Philadelphia-area program Caption Noah, and also played an instrumental role in launching 6ABC's action news format in 1970, when he was the station's program director. He also produced Phillies games for 15 years. 

For the last 18 years, Temple has annually awarded the Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award to celebrate members of the media whose achievements bring honor to their profession. The most recent recipient was Charles Barkley. Past recipients include Tina Fey, Wolf Blitzer, Whoopi Goldberg, Anderson Cooper, and Robin Roberts. 

Mr. Klein has made a long-lasting impact on the lives of both aspiring and current professional media members from the Temple University community and beyond. His influence on industry professionals, Temple faculty, alumni, and students will continue to be felt for many more years, and by many more generations to come. 

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