CWRU philanthropist Peter B. Lewis dies at the age of 80

Mike McKenna, News Reporter

Frequent Case Western Reserve University patron Peter B. Lewis died Saturday at his home in Coconut Grove, Florida. According to Plain Dealer reports, the 80-year old chairman of insurance company Progressive Corp.’s death was from natural causes.

Lewis, whose net worth was valued around $1 billion dollars, donated $36.9 million in 1999 to build the Peter B. Lewis Building for the Weatherhead School of Management. Lewis frequently supported Cleveland institutions since he grew up in Cleveland Heights.

However, Lewis’ relationship with CWRU had been rocky in the past decade. When Lewis believed that development of the building named after him was being mismanaged, he imposed a yearlong boycott against Cleveland philanthropies. He resumed his support a few years later, but to a lesser extent. In recent years, it seemed as Lewis had moved past the disagreement donating $5 million to the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2012 and speaking at CWRU’s commencement in 2013.