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STATEMENT: CAP Leaders on the Passing of CAP Founding Director Peter Lewis

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Contact: Chelsea Kiene
Phone: 202.478.5328

Washington, D.C. — Today, Center for American Progress Chair and Founder John Podesta and President Neera Tanden offered the following statement on the passing of CAP Founding Director Peter Lewis, who died Saturday at 80:

Peter Lewis was a visionary businessman, a dedicated philanthropist, a patron of the arts, and a progressive in the truest sense of the term. He was also one of the earliest supporters of the Center for American Progress— indeed, he believed in and supported CAP and its mission even before the day we opened our doors. From the very first, Peter was a member of our Board, a mentor to CAP’s leaders, an insightful guide for CAP’s growth, and, above all, a dear friend. His focus on results and impact has left CAP a better, more effective institution, and we are grateful to him.

But what made Peter unique, what made him a once-in-a-generation leader—and a once-in-a-lifetime friend—was his unparalleled talent for pursuing maximum freedom while remaining ferociously disciplined. It seems like a contradiction, but for Peter, it was a way of life. To build something that lasts, whether it is a sector-leading insurance company, an unrivaled art collection, or a network of progressive institutions, you must have the audacity to dream, the self-control to work and to persevere, and the wherewithal to speak your mind. Peter had all those things in spades.

We all hope to leave the world a better place than we found it. Peter Lewis did. We will miss him every day. Our thoughts are with Peter’s wife, his children, and his family and friends.

For more information, contact Chelsea Kiene at or 202.478.5328.


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