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Ed Lewis, who helped Cesar Chavez buy La Paz, passes away

Hollywood producer Ed Lewis was active in progressive circles and also a supporter of the United Farm Workers. He died on July 27 at his home in Los Angeles. When Cesar Chavez was searching for a place to relocate his movement headquarters from Delano, he asked Lewis to help him purchase a 187-acre abandoned tuberculosis sanitarium in the Tehachapi Mountain town of Keene east of Bakersfield. Kern County would never have sold it to the farm workers, so Ed Lewis bid on the property, bought it and turned it over to what today is the Cesar Chavez Foundation, which still owns and manages it. What Cesar called Nuestra Señora Reina de La Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace) is now known as the National Chavez Center. The civil rights and farm labor leader lived and worked at La Paz the last 23 years of his life and is buried there alongside his wife, Helen. President Obama came in 2012 to dedicate a small portion of the grounds as the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, the 398th unit of the National Park Service and the first honoring a contemporary Latino figure. The Chavez national monument is administered in a partnership between the park service and the National Chavez Center, part of the Chavez foundation.