Bill Cosby Adds Humor To Lewis Katz’s MemorialBy: Ann Casano - June 5, 2014
His T-shirt read “Self-Made, Philly Made, Temple Made.” His sweatpants were red, and he hadn’t bothered to shave.
Instead of the typical black attire most associated with funerals, Bill Cosby opted to wear a pair of blazing red Temple University sweatpants and a tucked in black T-shirt to his friend’s memorial service on Wednesday.
The 76-year-old comedian actually went to Temple with Lewis Katz, and to pay homage to the Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner and avid philanthropist, Cosby sported the attire of a typical college student. Katz and six other people died in a private jet crash during takeoff late Saturday night in Bedford, Massachusetts.
The memorial service took place at the Temple Performing Arts Center in the heart of Philly. About 1,400 people were in attendance. Bill Cosby spoke at the service, his speech geared towards Katz’s generosity and how his friends and family need to continue his philanthropy.
Cosby was concerned that without Katz’s contributions to the Boys & Girls Club of Camden and other community organizations that need financial help, that they would fall apart, “I’m not challenging you, I’m telling you, you better not let it drop, you better not let it fall, you better not let stains, graffiti, touch these buildings without it being washed off immediately. Am I clear? He gave it to you.”
“So c’mon Camden. That Boys & Girls club has to stay, it has to be there, so that all who come and pass by it will know it’s worth keeping. … His life lives, not in the name that was put on the wall, but in the gift that was given to you.”
Also speaking at the service was former Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell, who also discussed Katz’s generosity, “He was a champion to thousands who never knew his name, doing things that would never make the paper.”
Former President Bill Clinton also had an opportunity to speak. “Thank you, Lew Katz, for what you did for me. For never giving up in the darkest hours. For making sure we had a good time trying.” He added, “His life force was such, I thought he’d be around forever.”
Katz grew up in a poor household in Camden, New Jersey. The businessman became a billionaire via sound investments like the Kinney Parking Company and the Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network (YES). He also previously owned the New Jersey Devils and the New Jersey Nets.
Image via Wikimedia Commons