A pioneering entrepreneur, Eddie Lewis was an innovator with a sense of optimism that inspired all who knew him. After graduating from The Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School on a full scholarship, Mr. Lewis worked briefly as an attorney in Philadelphia before founding Oxford Development Company with his father and brother-in-law.
Fresh out of school, Mr. Lewis became the driving force of his fledgling family business after breaking ground for South Hills Village, one of the first two-story shopping malls in the United States. Over the next 10 years, Mr. Lewis developed six major shopping centers, establishing Oxford Development Company as a nationally recognized leader in commercial real estate and as one of Pittsburgh’s largest privately held companies. Soon after, Mr. Lewis continued to other parts of the country, transforming 800 acres of South Florida swampland into what would become the City of Aventura and developing dozens of successful high-profile projects including the iconic Turnberry Isle Resort & Club and Aventura Mall.
The impact of Mr. Lewis’ legacy spans numerous states and includes scores of office buildings, regional shopping malls, health and fitness facilities, hotels and luxury resorts, luxury condominiums and, of course, Oxford Development’s namesake skyscraper, One Oxford Centre, in downtown Pittsburgh. In addition, Mr. Lewis founded several affiliate companies to provide a full complement of real estate services including brokerage and institutional investment advisory.
Mr. Lewis’ achievements in business were matched by his deep roots in and contributions to civic and community life. He was a generous benefactor to countless philanthropic causes, with a special interest in the United Jewish Federation, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the ALS Association.
A people person on every level, Mr. Lewis was a caring yet unpretentious man whose charming and charismatic nature made him loved by many.