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Edward Lewis      

Co-Founder of Essence Magazine & One of the Most Successful Publishers in the Country

Mr. Lewis co-founded Essence Communications Inc. in 1970, one of the country’s largest African American multi-media organizations. Essence was acquired by Time, Inc. in 2005. Mr. Lewis is also a co-founder of Latina, the first lifestyle magazine that exclusively addressed the interests of U.S. Hispanic women. During his 35 years as Chairman, CEO and Publisher, he nurtured Essence into a media powerhouse, addressing the needs of black women. This brand included the Essence Awards, a TV show celebrating the contributions of African Americans and the Essence Music Festival, a four day event held in New Orleans during the Fourth of July, which attracts over 400,000 attendees annually. He also radically changed the perception of Madison Avenue regarding black women and awakened corporate America to their achievements and massive multi-billion dollar purchasing power. Mr. Lewis took this success and applied it to his next venture, Latina Magazine. He has served as Chairman since 2008. As a mentor for a younger generation that shares his desire to create opportunities supporting the needs of entire communities, he has spoken on entrepreneurship at Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Yale, Columbia University, Howard and Tuskegee, as well as, at major companies such as Merrill Lynch, J.C. Penny, Kraft and Kellogg. A major supporter and advocate of civic responsibility, Mr. Lewis serves on the boards of the New York Academy of Medicine, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theatre Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club of America and is the former Chairman of the Harlem Village Academy – a charter school serving the needs of African American and Latino children. In 1997, he became the first African American Chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America. Previously, he served on the boards of Columbia Teacher’s College, Spelman College and Tuskegee University. President Barack Obama asked him to serve on the Board of Advisors for the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. His political activism led to his appointment on the New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s, as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s, Transition Committee. Edward Lewis is currently Senior Advisor to Solera Capital. He received a Bachelor and Master of Arts from the University of New Mexico where he later was awarded an honorary Doctorate. A recipient of the Henry Johnson Fisher Award, considered the “Oscar” in publishing, he went on to receive the Henry Luce Award from Time, Inc. In 2014, Mr. Lewis was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame and received the inaugural IPPIES Lifetime Achievement Award from City University of New York’s Journalism School’s Center for Community and Ethnic Media.


ESSENCE Co-Founder Ed Lewis Talks Growing the ESSENCE Brand

ESSENCE magazine co-founder Ed Lewis tallks to Advertising Age about how ESSENCE became the leading brand for black women today.

Edward Lewis and the Creation of ‘Essence’

“I was the quiet one,” is repeated like a mantra throughout “The Man from Essence.” This is how Edward Lewis describes himself in a quartet of Black men who founded Essence magazine in the early 1970s.

Edward Lewis speaks Wednesday, May 13

The Anderson School of Management presents prominent UNM alumnus Edward Lewis as the featured speaker of the McKinnon Distinguished CEO Lecture Series. Lewis is a co-founder of Essence Communications, one of the country’s largest African American multi-media organizations.

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