After 25 years we’re still asking: ‘Why should white guys have all the fun?’

EXCLUSIVE: Reginald Lewis paved the way for moguls in the 1980s as the wealthiest Black man in American history. His wife and daughter are now reissuing his 1995 book.

When you think of Black billionaires, the names Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z may instantly come to mind. However, it was Reginald Lewis who paved the way for American moguls in the 1980s. The lawyer and entrepreneur was the first Black man in America to conduct a $985 million deal.

After purchasing McCall Pattern Company for $22.5 million and selling it at a 90-1 return, Lewis then bought Beatrice International Foods in an almost billion-dollar deal, renamed it TLC Beatrice Holdings Inc. and within a year propelled the company to over $1 billion in sales (making it the first Black-owned company to have more than $1 billion in annual sales).

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In 1993, following a brain cancer diagnosis, Reginald Lewis faced an untimely death at 50. During his lifetime, he left a gift for African-American entrepreneurs: Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun? This book tells the detailed story of Reginald Lewis and important aspects of his life from his point of view.

Now in 2020, the book is being re-issued by his wife, Loida Lewis and daughter Christina Lewis.

The book is now available on Audible and narrated by AudioFile Magazine’s Best Voices Of The Year, actor JD Jackson, whose infectious voice takes us through the life of one of the most successful men in America.

theGrio caught up with Christina Lewis, philanthropist and founder of AllStar Code and co-founder of GiveBlck, who is continuing her family’s legacy and making America a more equal place.

During this uncertain time and in an economy that is struggling, Lewis shares advice instilled in her from her father on the importance of financial literacy.

Christina Lewis, philanthropist and founder of AllStar Code and co-founder of GiveBlck, is continuing her family’s legacy. (Photo: Courtesy of Christina Lewis)

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“Dad knew how to save and he knew to invest. He read not one but every major newspaper in the morning. The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Times and USA Today. In France, he read the International Herald Tribune, The Financial Times and Le Monde. So I learned that to be an accomplished and capable person in investing and business you must be knowledgeable and up to date on current events,” said Lewis.

While Mr. Lewis didn’t experience a pandemic, in what seems like inopportune times to others, Christina Lewis said that her dad would be “looking for his edge” during this time.

“He would be looking for opportunities to buy companies in areas where he felt knowledgeable. Interest rates are low so he would likely be refinancing,” she said. “Mike Milken told me he thinks Dad, if he were alive, would have gone into industrials. Boring businesses usually have the best cash flow.”

Christina Lewis with her father Reginald Lewis. (Photo: Courtesy of Christina Lewis)

Though the book was written 25 years ago, there are a lot of principles that are applicable today. Lewis reveals, “The book tells one of the greatest rags to riches stories in history. It is happy and sad, funny and authentic. Plus, it has a teaching guide element so readers can learn my Dad’s habits and processes so they can achieve their goals too, whatever they are.”

It’s more than a financial book, it’s guaranteed to expand your mindset and provide you with applicable tools for the personal rigor necessary for growth both financially and mentally.  

While you can access the book via Amazon or Audible, Lewis also encourages us to access it in print from a Black-owned bookstore

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