Drew Lewis, who as transportation secretary under Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s led contract negotiations with the air traffic controllers’ union and, when many of its members went on strike, put together a temporary system to keep planes in the air, died on February 10 2016 in Prescott, Ariz. He was 84. Andrew Lindsay Lewis Jr. was born on Nov. 3, 1931, in Philadelphia and grew up on a farm in rural Norristown, Pa. His father ran a trucking business. After graduating from Norristown High School, he attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania, earning a degree in economics in 1953, and Harvard’s graduate school of business, where he received a master’s degree in business administration in 1955. He later did postgraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined Henkels & McCoy, a utilities contractor in Blue Bell, Pa., as a foreman and immediately confronted his first strike when electricians he was supervising at a communications station in the Azores islands, off the coast of Portugal, walked off the job. He flew to Madrid and found 15 Spanish electricians to complete the work. After rising to production manager and director at Henkels & McCoy, Mr. Lewis took senior management jobs at American Olean Tile and its parent company, National Gypsum. In the early 1970s, he turned around two failing companies, Simplex Wire and Cable and Snelling & Snelling, a personnel placement firm, and helped reorganize the bankrupt Reading Railroad, steering it toward absorption into Conrail. In 1974 he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Pennsylvania, losing to the incumbent, Milton Shapp. The following year he founded Lewis & Associates, a financial and management consulting firm, in Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Mr. Lewis, a business executive known for rescuing failing companies, achieved prominence in Pennsylvania politics by successfully managing several House and Senate campaigns for Richard S. Schweiker, a childhood friend. His work as state chairman for President Gerald R. Ford during the 1976 presidential campaign impressed Reagan, who as Ford’s rival had tried to woo Pennsylvania’s delegates by naming Senator Schweiker as his proposed running mate at the last minute. Mr. Lewis, despite heavy pressure from his old friend, delivered his bloc of delegates to Ford. In the next presidential election, Reagan enlisted Mr. Lewis to manage his primary campaign in Pennsylvania. After the nomination was locked up, Mr. Lewis served as second in command of the Reagan-Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee. He was picked to be secretary of transportation immediately after Reagan’s election. He returned to the corporate world in February 1983, recruited by Warner Amex Cable Communications to turn the company around. He returned it to profitability in three years. In 1986 he was hired by Union Pacific, the nation’s largest railroad, to take over as chief executive after the retirement of William S. Cook in 1987. In 1994, while Union Pacific was attempting a hostile takeover of the Santa Fe Railroad, he took a leave of absence to enter an alcohol treatment program. He was later arrested twice, in 1995 and 2002, on suspicion of driving under the influence. After overseeing Union Pacific’s 1996 merger with Southern Pacific, Mr. Lewis retired to his farm, Lilliput, in Schwenksville, Pa. In addition to his son Andy, Mr. Lewis is survived by his wife, the former Marilyn Stoughton; a daughter, Karen Carrier; a son, Russell, known as Rusty; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. A fourth child, Andrew L. Lewis III, died in infancy.