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Former Devils owner Lewis Katz dies in plane crash

Jun 1, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT

Lewis Katz AP

Lewis Katz was killed in a plane crash Saturday night at the age of 72. One of the newspapers he co-owned, the Philadelphia Inquirer, confirmed the tragedy.

Authorities are reporting that all seven people on the private jet, which erupted in flames when it crashed at Hanscom Field, are dead. The names of the other victims weren’t immediately released.

“Lewis Katz was an exceptional man, whose presence enriched the lives of everyone he came in contact with,” said Inquirer editor Bill Marimow. “He never forgot his friends or his roots, giving back generously to the city of Camden, Temple University, Dickinson College’s law school, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and countless other organizations.

“He loved his family and his friends and they loved him back in return. We’ve lost a great friend.”

Katz is the former owner of the New Jersey Devils as well as the NBA’s New Jersey (now Brooklyn) Nets.

The NHL released this statement via Gary Bettman:

“The National Hockey League family is stunned and deeply saddened by the loss of former New Jersey Devils owner Lewis Katz. While he was a person of tremendous influence in a variety of businesses, including sports, Lewis was, pure and simple, a great guy who highly prioritized his family and his friends. We send heartfelt condolences to them, to the many organizations that benefited from his philanthropy and to all who were affected by this tragic accident.”

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