Ralph Nader at Nader.org:
“Over the generations, Peter Lewis was, is and will be – through his many enduring legacies and generosities to a wide range of human betterment from civil liberties to the arts, from responsive politics to higher education facilities.
His passing is the nation’s loss, especially when it comes to the individual’s freedom from arbitrary abuses or the indentured power of the corporate state. My condolences to his family.”
Peter Lewis (November 11, 1933 − November 23, 2013) was an American businessman who was the chairman of Progressive Insurance Company.
According to wikipedia:
His father – who had co-founded a small auto insurance company named Progressive Insurance with Jack Green in 1937 – was grooming Lewis to work at the company when he died at age 48 while Lewis was a junior at Cleveland Heights High School. In 1955, he graduated from Princeton University.
After college, Lewis joined Progressive Insurance as an underwriting trainee. In 1965, he and his mother borrowed $2.5 million, pledging their majority stake as collateral, and completed a leveraged buyout of Progressive. Lewis became chief executive officer of a company which had 40 employees at that time. He subsequently grew the business and, by the 1960s, Progressive had over 100 employees and $6 million in annual revenue. Lewis focused on insuring high-risk drivers – where premiums were greater – using an innovative pricing system and consumer-friendly service offering competitor quote matching and instant claims service. He also brought in a slew of young, enthusiastic workers and devolved decision-making downward, fostering a relaxed yet disciplined and creative corporate culture.
As of 2010, Progressive had grown to 27,250 employees, with sales of $15.0 billion and had become the third largest auto insurance company in the United States. In 2000, Lewis retired as CEO of Progressive, though he remained as Chairman of the Board.
Lewis frequently donated money to charities and political groups. He was a patron of the arts and supported many artistic pursuits. Lewis’s personal and corporate contemporary art collection is well known—the corporate collection is displayed at Progressive Insurance offices. In September 2012 Lewis signed the Giving Pledge promising to give at least half his wealth to charity.
Among Lewis’ many political contributions, [read more]