The founder of NATPE passed away


Andy Kaplan, Chairman of NATPE and the President and CEO of NATPE JP Bommel, expressed their condolences

NATPE Statement from Chairman Andy Kaplan: “It is with the deepest regret that we inform you that Lew Klein (91), NATPE’s founder and guiding light, has passed away. 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.

Our condolences go out to Janet, Lew’s wife, who was by his side for a lifetime and always present at NATPE events, and to Lew’s entire family.  We will dearly miss his wise counsel, smiling face and his class. He was one of a kind.”

A Word from NATPE President and CEO, JP Bommel: “! Good night Lew! Said JP Bommel. “You enriched the life of thousands of students and certainly mine. You were not only a mentor but also a good friend. I am grateful for the laughter we shared with Janet and that we got to work together on important issues. As you said to the students it’s not who you know but who knows you, in that respect I am honored to have shared those moments with you. I will miss you forever, you are in my heart but you took a piece of all of us with you today.”


The world of broadcast television would be a different place without Lew Klein, who started his career in the 1950’s in the programming department of WFIL (now WPVI) in Philadelphia. From 1984 to 1993, Lew served as President of Gateway Communications, Inc., which owned four CBS affiliate stations in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He was the executive producer of the popular dance show “American Bandstand” and of the award-winning series “Frontiers of Knowledge and College News Conference.”

Following his passion for teaching a new generation about the industry, Mr. Klein held the position of Adjunct Professor at the School of Communications at Temple University in Philadelphia for 65 years. Klein was honored several times at Temple for his service to the university and in 2017 the university’s School of Media and Communication was renamed the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication.

Mr. Klein was the recipient of NATPE’s President’s Award and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Gold Medal. He was also named “Broadcaster of the Year” by the Broadcast Pioneer’s Philadelphia Chapter and earned the Distinguished Education Service Award from the Broadcast Education Association.

Mr. Klein is the founder and former president of NATPE, the world’s largest non-profit content association, and the founder and president of the NATPE Educational Foundation.

Mr. 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 for Mr. Klein (date to be determined).

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