Katz is also a founding partner of and serves as of counsel to the law firm Katz, Ettin & Levine.
Mr. Katz is co-managing partner of the Philadelphia Media Network, which is the publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com. He is also the former principal owner of the New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils, a former member of the board of governors of the National Basketball Association, and a current shareholder of the Nets and the New York Yankees. Mr. Katz also served as Chief Executive Officer of Kinney System Holding Corp. from November 1990 until Central Parking Corp. acquired Kinney in February 1998.
A noted philanthropist, he is the director of the Katz Foundation, which supports charitable, educational and medical causes. To support pioneering medical research, Katz established an annual prize and endowed a visiting professorship in cardiovascular research at Columbia University, where he serves on the Board of Visitors of the medical school. His $15 million gift to The Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University helped fund a law school building that bears his name. A native of Camden, N.J, Katz has established several programs to help Camden children. This year, he plans to open Katz Academy, a charter school that will serve grades K-4.
His entrepreneurship was evident during his time as a student at Temple University, where Mr. Katz, along with a friend and classmate, the comedian Bill Cosby, booked acts for a school show titled “The Hour of Pleasure.” The two, Mr. Katz recently recalled, were once paid $50 to arrange for the folk-rock group the Mamas and the Papas, then virtually unknown, to play for the show. The band got $35, and Mr. Katz and Mr. Cosby split the rest.
Mr. Katz would go on to attend the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University. After graduating, he went on to found the law firm Katz, Ettin & Levine, based in Cherry Hill, N.J. He made his fortune by investing in the Kinney Parking empire and the YES Network in New York, according to Philly.com.
In addition to his son Drew, Mr. Katz is survived by a daughter, Melissa Katz Silver. His wife, Marjorie, died last year.