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William M. Lewis, Jr.

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Information about William M. Lewis, Jr.

Profile image of William M. Lewis, Jr.

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Lasagna
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Now That's What I'm Talking About.

Birthplace

Born:
4/30/1956
Birth Location:
Richmond, Virginia

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Corporate Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Lasagna
Favorite Time of Year:
Christmas
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Now That's What I'm Talking About.

Birthplace

Born:
4/30/1956
Birth Location:
Richmond
See how William M. Lewis, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Investment banker William M. Lewis, Jr. was born on April 30, 1956, in Richmond, Virginia, to Essie Mae and William M. Lewis, Sr., a maid and roofer. Growing up in Richmond’s inner city, Lewis won a scholarship through an organization called A Better Chance to attend the private boarding school Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1974, Lewis graduated from Andover Academy with honors, earning a scholarship to Harvard University, where he graduated cum laude with his B.A. degree in economics in 1978. Upon graduation, Lewis joined Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisitions Department as a financial analyst. He then attended Harvard Business School of Management, where he earned his M.B.A. degree in 1982.

Returning to Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisitions Department as an associate, Lewis spent the next six years working on buyouts of AMF, Hammermill and Children’s World, to name a few. After a short stint as the department head for Morgan Stanley Midwest Mergers and Acquisitions, where he oversaw the sale of the Coleman Company, Lewis was made Managing Director for Morgan Stanley, becoming the first African American and the youngest individual to hold that title. Soon thereafter, Lewis was promoted to co-head of the Worldwide Real Estate Department as well as president and chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds. Lewis also served as co-head of the company’s Worldwide Mergers, Acquisitions, and Restructuring Department. Lewis was then promoted to lead the Corporate Finance Department at Morgan Stanley where he oversaw the buyouts of Environdyne, Wilson Sporting Goods, and Moog Automotive, among others.

In 2001, Lewis was named Global Banking Co-Managing Director of Morgan Stanley; a year later, Fortune magazine ranked him the thirteenth most powerful African American executive in the country. In 2004, Lewis joined Lazard Ltd., an international financial asset and advisory firm, as their co-chairman of investment banking. In 2005, at Lazard Ltd., Lewis oversaw the sale of Maytag to Whirlpool, a $1.79 billion transaction. Lewis was also active as a community and civic leader; he chaired the A Better Chance Inc. Foundation, and served as the co-chair of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Foundation.

Lewis married Carol Sutton Lewis, with whom he had three children.

See how William M. Lewis, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William M. Lewis, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his mother, Essie Taylor Lewis
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recounts how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his half-sister, Jessie Taylor
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia's East End, pt.1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his childhood neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia's East End, pt.2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about the black community in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about the caliber of students he attended school with in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his mother's focus on education and his early love of reading
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his experiences at Bellevue Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls the racial composition of his neighboring childhood blocks
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his experience with doctors and medical treatment as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about learning African American history in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recounts limited racial tensions in his neighborhood as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes meeting middle class black students at Mosby Junior High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his teacher, Gwendolyn Ragland Robbins, who introduced him to A Better Chance program
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his penchant for fighting as a boy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his parents' differing attitudes about his attending boarding school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his acceptance into Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls the summer orientation program at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes how his pronunciation of words improved at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his experience at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his college application process and his decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his relationship with his brother and sister
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes deciding to major in economics at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his time at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley in New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes working in New York City's financial services industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about African Americans in investment banking at Morgan Stanley
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. explains the investment banking industry's organizational structure
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about James Allwin and Eric Gleacher's role in his career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about the role of race in the investment banking industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his passion for investment banking and how the industry has changed for African Americans over time
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. questions the importance of mentors in a successful banking career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his position at Morgan Stanley Midwest Mergers and Acquisitions from 1987 to 1991
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls his goal of becoming a partner at Morgan Stanley in Chicago
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recounts the mergers and acquisitions he orchestrated for Morgan Stanley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about how his managerial position at Morgan Stanley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. details his ascent at Morgan Stanley
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about leaving Morgan Stanley, joining Lazard, and his not-for-profit work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about HistoryMakers Vernon Jordan and Raymond McGuire
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about informal mentoring and business connections
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. reflects upon challenging points during his career as an investment banker
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about investment bankers he admires
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his future aspirations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - William M. Lewis, Jr. recalls memorable deals from the 1980s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about recent deals
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes family vacations in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about being named one of the most powerful African Americans on Wall Street
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his family's support
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes the challenges of being a woman on Wall Street
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about his work with Phillips Academy, the Legal Defense Fund, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William M. Lewis, Jr. talks about the role of religion in his childhood and adult life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William M. Lewis, Jr. describes his hopes for African American youth
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William M. Lewis, Jr. narrates his photographs