June 13, 2019

Passing of Lew Klein

By: Carter Wyckoff



We at the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters are devastated to learn of the passing of one of the founding fathers of broadcast television in Pennsylvania, Lew Klein.  Lew was a titan within the broadcast community, having received every possible honor bestowed by the PAB, as well as leaving his own legacy in our annual “Janet and Lew Klein Making a Difference” Award.

He was a compassionate leader, tireless advocate, and mentor to generations of broadcast television and radio professionals through his tenure at Temple University.

And his wife, Janet, was with Lew every step of their remarkable journey. We hope the warm, cherished memories of Lew sustain Janet and their family through this difficult time. We at the PAB will always love them both.


Tributes from around the Commonwealth are coming in, here are a few:

“Lew Klein’s instrumental role in the development of broadcast television helped make Philadelphia known as a cultural hub,” said Gov. Wolf. “In his role as executive producer of American Bandstand, Lew gave voice to a generation of youth. His assistance in creating Action News on 6ABC brought critical information into the homes of Philadelphians. He leaves behind a legacy as an educator and philanthropist at Temple University, and his contributions to broadcast television will not be forgotten.” –Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf

“Lew was a kind and gracious soul and together with Janet they made a real impact,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Lew took people under his wing and made them better. He was a mentor to me and a so many others. Lew listened with his heart and made a real difference in media, education and our community. From Bandstand to Action News to Abington PAL, Lew left an indelible mark. May his memory be a blessing.” –PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro

“Words such as ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ and ‘pioneer’ are often overused when reflecting on someone’s lifetime contributions to their craft. But those are exactly the words I choose to describe Lew Klein. Another one would be ‘friend’. While Lew’s contributions were felt far beyond his home of Philadelphia, creating such programs as American Bandstand with Dick Clark, Lew cared deeply about public broadcasting in Pennsylvania. We worked closely together during my time as governor to ensure that our public broadcasting systems converted to the digital era to expand educational, news and cultural programming in transformative ways across the Commonwealth. Lew understood the power of television to educate, inform and entertain. But most of all, Lew was a real gentleman and a wonderful ambassador for Philadelphia and his beloved Temple University whose students have long been the beneficiary of his wisdom and passion. Michele and I send our deepest sympathies to Lew’s wife, Janet, their children, grandchildren and many friends.” –Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge


WPVI 6 ABC Tribute to Lew Klein:



Read more from the Philadelphia Inquirer:



And read about the life and career of Lew Klein via Temple University:



From the Hollywood Reporter: