PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lew Klein, a broadcast pioneer who helped create “American Bandstand” and launched the careers of Dick Clark and Bob Saget, has died. He was 91.
Klein died Wednesday, according to Temple University, where Klein taught and mentored students for more than six decades.
He began working at WFIL-TV, now WPVI-TV, where he directed “Romper Room” and co-created “Captain Noah and His Magical Ark,” two popular children’s programs in the 1960s that attracted a bigger local audience than “Sesame Street.”
A native of Philadelphia, Klein served as executive producer of “American Bandstand,” the popular music performance and dance television show hosted by the late Clark. Klein is credited with launching Clark’s career and served on the board of Dick Clark Productions.
Klein spent 15 years producing telecasts for the Philadelphia Phillies and also helped with the careers of players-turned-sportscasters including Richie Ashburn and Tim McCarver.
Only a couple years after he graduated with an English degree from the University of Pennsylvania, Klein started teaching at Temple. He stayed for more than 65 years.
In 2017, Temple renamed the College of Media and Communications in his honor. During a ceremony, which included remarks from comedian Saget, Klein said he was “so proud and very thankful” to be honored by the university.