Ex-Gov. Ed Rendell Nearly Boarded Jet That Crashed, Killing Seven

Gov. Ed Rendell makes remarks during a news conference in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said that if not for a scheduling conflict, he may well have been aboard the jet that crashed at a Massachusetts airfield over the weekend and killed his friend, Philadelphia Inquirer owner Lewis Katz.

Rendell told the Daily Beast that he ran into Katz on Friday and the media mogul invited him to a cocktail party at the Concord, Mass. home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

“I stopped to get some produce at a place on 20th Street, and Lewis was sitting in an outdoor seating area at a restaurant across the way,” Rendell told the Beast. “We joked and kibitzed, and Lewis said, ‘You really ought to come tomorrow. Doris would love to see you.’ And I said, ‘Listen, I’ll call you, but I don’t think I can.’”

Rendell had already committed to a Sunday morning fundraiser at a Philadelphia synagogue and said he was worried he wouldn’t make it back on time if he had joined Katz.

If not for the fundraiser, Rendell believes he would have been aboard the private jet that ran off the runway at Massachusetts’ Hanscom Field and burst into flames, killing seven people, including Katz.

Last week, Katz and his business partner H. F. Lenfest agreed on an $88 million deal to purchase the Inquirer, Philly.com and the Philadelphia Daily News.

Correction: This post has been updated to show that the deal was worth $88 million.

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