Last week at this time, Lewis Katz was on the verge of making his media dream come true.
Just hours away from he and an investment partner closing an $88 million deal and owning the Philadelphia Inquirer outright.
It would seem an odd investment for a man who made his fortune in billboards and banking and showed his financial acumen as a controlling partner in the then New Jersey Nets.
But journalism held his passion, and a week ago tomorrow, Katz let Inquirer staff members know the money to do good journalism was still his passion, and he hoped it was theirs.
They applauded the savior in their midst.
If only they had known he wouldn't be in their midst for long.
Lewis Katz died in a plane crash this past Saturday night.
We're told his Gulf 4 jet ran off the end of the runway at a private airport near Bedford, Massachusetts enroute to Atlantic City. It never got in the air, ultimately crashing into a wooded gully before bursting in flames.
All seven people on board, including Katz, were killed. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened.
Stunned friends and associates still can't believe it did. And how quickly it did.
Such is the fragility of life.
And the random-ness of life.
Those who took that plane and died, and those, like former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, who declined an invite to ride on that plane because of a speech, and lived.
So quick. So random.
Only days after saving a newspaper Lewis Katz an obituary in that newspaper.
I read it for myself.
In the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Lewis Katz dead at age 72.