2. Reginald F. Lewis, Businessman
Reginald F. Lewis, who was born on Dec. 7, 1942 in East Baltimore, was a lawyer, entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the first African American law firm on Wall Street. He focused on corporate law, but also made it his duty to assist minority-owned businesses. In 1983, he bought out McCall Pattern Company for $22.5 million, boosted its profits to the best it’d seen in its 113-year history, then sold it for $90 million in 1987, profiting $50 million! That year, he also established The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation which has funded grants to communities, schools and students since its inception, including the $5 million donated to the Maryland African American History and Culture named in his honor near the Baltimore Harbor.