Lew Klein’s Life, Legacy



Lew Klein, television pioneer, professor, and philanthropist passed away in June. He was 91 years old. 


After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English, Lew Klein began his career right here in Philadelphia. 


During its years in Philadelphia, Klein served as an executive producer for the iconic show, “American Bandstand”. The show, which featured host Dick Clarke, aired on WFIL-TV which was the predecessor for WPVI-TV, better known as 6abc. 


During his 22 years at “Channel 6” which Klein often times called the station, he served in numerous capacities. He pioneered the stations “ACTION NEWS” format in 1970. 


After leaving WFIL-TV, Klein went on to work for Gateway Communications. Gateway owned four TV stations in the East. He then went on to become Gateway’s president. 


Lew Klein had taught at Temple University since 1952. 


Bernie Prazenica, the current GM and president of 6abc, had Klein as a teacher during his years at Temple. 


“I had the good fortune in the 70s of picking Lew’s class in my curriculum. That would start a relationship with Lew that would impact my life in ways that I never imagined.”  


In 2017, Temple’s School of Media and Communication was looking to rename the college. 


Dean Boardman says that he had a meeting with Klein to discuss who the school should be named after. Boardman says that Klein had a few names in mind. Boardman, however, only had one: Lew. 

“Lew there’s really only one person for whom this school ought to be named and I’m looking at him.” 


Klein was also a board member for several decades for the Philadelphia Police Athletic League, which aims to bring police and underprivileged children together. Klein always wanted to give back to the city that gave him so much. 


During his career, Klein influenced the careers of countless individuals in the broadcast industry. Bob Saget, Kevin Neghandi, Larry Kane, to name a few. 


Paul Gluck, associate professor and general manager of TUTV, says that Klein’s willingness to invest in “someone else” is what made Lew Klein such a monumental figure in the city of Philadelphia. 


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