African-American Entrepreneur Pays Tribute
R. Donahue Peebles, the most successful African-American entrepreneur in real estate, paid tribute to the late Reginald Lewis and Loida Nicolas Lewis, for his success in entrepreneurship when he recently accepted the Reginald Lewis Award for successful African-American entrepreneurship under age 50.
Peebles said he would not be who he is today, if someone who he never met, never lived before him. “Before I read the book Why Should White Guys Wave All the Fun, Reginald Lewis’ biography, I didn’t know what was possible, but after reading it, I learned what could be done and what it takes to get here,” Peebles said in his acceptance speech. The awards ceremony was held at the Lewis family estate in East Hampton, New York.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD. R. Donahue Peebles holds his Reginald Lewis Award. At right is Loida Nicolas Lewis.
Peebles, now 49, owns large real estate developments in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Miami, totaling $4 billion worth of luxury hotels, high-rise residential buildings and top-of- the-line commercial properties.
He acknowledged that Reginald was his inspiration who got him started, but it was Loida who took him on his journey to success.
“While Reginald Lewis lived a great life, it was Loida Lewis who made sure the book about his life was published and it was she who carried on his memory, his legacy,” he said.
“And so, it is because of Loida Lewis that I wrote my book The Peebles Principles, and that I am now running a multi-million-dollar company. The partnership of Reginald and Loida taught me what marriage is all about. They also taught me the power of entrepreneurship
“And so I am honored and humbled to accept the Reginald F. Lewis Award for Entrepreneurship because I am where I am because of what I learned from Reginald and Loida”.
Several memorials and monuments have been built in honor of Lewis such as the Reginald Lewis Museum in Baltimore, the Reginald Lewis International Law Center at Harvard University, the Reginald Lewis High School of Business and Law in Maryland, and the Lewis College in Sorsogon City.