NATPE Founder Lew Klein Passes Away at 91

Began his broadcasting career in 1950s before founding NATPE.
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LOS ANGELES—Lew Klein, the founder and president of the National Association of Television Program Executives, passed away on Thursday, June 13, at the age of 91.

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“Lew was the soul and inspiration for NATPE and was tireless in his work and support of both NATPE and the NATPE foundation, which he founded and served as president until his passing,” the NATPE wrote in a statement.

Klein’s career began in the programming department of Philadelphia’s WFIL (now WPVI) in the 1950s. He eventually served as the president of Gateway Communications Inc. and was an executive producer on both “American Bandstand” and “Frontiers of Knowledge and College News Conference.” In addition, he also served as an adjunct professor at Temple University School of Communications in Philadelphia for 65 years

Klein founded the NATPE in 1962 as a non-profit content association. He also founded and served as president of the NATPE Educational Foundation.

In his career, Klein was recognized with the NATPE’s President Award, the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Gold Medal, as Broadcaster of the Year by the Broadcast Pioneer’s Philadelphia Chapter and the Distinguished Education Service Award from the Broadcast Education Association.

Klein is survived by his wife Janet, his children Ellen and Stephen, granddaughter Anna and her husband John, and great-grandchildren Oscar and Miriam. A memorial service will be held at an as yet to be determined date.