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Co-founder of Essence to give lecture at UNM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Edward Lewis, a co-founder of Essence Communications, will be the featured speaker this week at the University of New Mexico’s McKinnon Distinguished CEO Lecture Series.

Lewis will speak Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albuquerque.

Edward Lewis, co-founder of Essence and Latina magazines.  (Courtesy UNM).

Edward Lewis, co-founder of Essence and Latina magazines. (Courtesy UNM).

The reception begins at 5 p.m., the presentation at 6 p.m., and a question-and-answer segment led by veteran journalist and interviewer Lorene Mills of PBS’ “Report from Santa Fe” will follow.

Lewis graduated from UNM in 1964 and, two years later, earned a master’s in political science and international relations. He holds an honorary Ph.D. from UNM and is the recipient of the school’s Zimmerman Award for Outstanding Alumni.

Lewis is best known as a founder of Essence, a magazine about the history, lives and careers of black women. The first issue hit the stands in 1970.

Lewis, as chairman and CEO, would guide the magazine – which he described as a “bold and bodacious idea back then” – into a $100 million enterprise with nearly 8 million readers.

In his book, “The Man from Essence,” he chronicled the trials and tribulations of running the magazine, and the friction and eventual breakup of the original partners.

In 2005, he sold 49 percent of the magazine to Time Warner. After 44 years, it is still going strong.

“Leading it was a privilege,” Lewis told the Journal in a story last year.

Lewis, along with Christy Haubegger, also co-founded Latina.

Lewis grew up in the Bronx and still lives in New York.

He and his wife have endowed the Ed and Carolyn Lewis Scholarship at UNM. He also has served on several boards, including those of the Lincoln Center and the Apollo Theater Foundation.

The lecture is offered at no cost, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Contact Felicia Rodriquez at 505-277-1504 or for more information.

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