Local Obituaries

Lexington council member, business magazine founder and publisher Ed Lane dies at 73

Ed Lane, a member of the Urban County Council, was a commercial real-estate broker and publisher of The Lane Report, a magazine of business news.
Ed Lane, a member of the Urban County Council, was a commercial real-estate broker and publisher of The Lane Report, a magazine of business news. Herald-Leader

Lexington Urban County Councilman Edwin "Ed" Green Lane III, founder and publisher of The Lane Report magazine, died Sunday night. He was 73.

Lane, a longtime commercial real-estate broker, had battled cancer for more than two years, according to a statement Monday afternoon from The Lane Report, an online and monthly print magazine of business news.

He made his first run for public office in 2004, when he was elected to represent the 12th District on the council. He took office in 2005 and had been re-elected to two-year terms ever since.

Lane is survived by daughters Susan Brett Lane and Katherine Meredith Lane, who were with him when he died, according to The Lane Report.

"The staff is saddened by the passing of an amazing man, but it is lessened by how we marvel at the legacy Ed Lane leaves," said Mark Green, editorial director of Lane Communications Group.

"His energy, his intelligence, his enthusiasm, his optimism and concern for his family, community and the nation will be missed but will continue to influence us. He was a true leader. The man had enthusiasm for life."

Mayor Jim Gray issued a statement: "Not only was Ed highly successful in his own business, he was an outstanding public servant who brought his business experience and expertise to City Hall to fight for Lexington's business men and women. He also was a strong advocate for his district. Our city will miss his leadership and experience."

Sen. Mitch McConnell said he "was saddened to hear of the passing of my good friend Ed Lane. Ed was a dedicated public servant and a tireless advocate for the people of Kentucky. He was also a successful businessman and publisher. I always enjoyed reading the Lane Report, a great publication for and about Kentucky's business community, especially Ed's engaging 'One-on-One' interviews."

Councilman Bill Farmer Jr. said Lane's knowledge about real estate proved valuable whenever the council considered whether to buy property.

"He could make or break any land deal," Farmer said. "He could sit and go through the numbers at the microphone, off the top of his head, about what the overhead would be, how much something would cost, what the cost would be per square foot. ... He could look at any deal like that and criticize it or laud it, and immediately you would go, 'Yep, that's it and why.'"

That talent for finances made Lane a strong member of the council, former Mayor Jim Newberry said.

"His financial acumen was way above average," Newberry said. "He was really helpful when it came to budget issues or the pension problems, or whether or not we ought to refinance bonds."

He said Lane also was "a fun person to be around" and they became good friends.

"Ed just had a personality that I would characterize as delightful," Newberry said. He "had a good sense of humor, didn't get too worked up about things, certainly didn't take himself or what he was doing too seriously. ... He gave a lot to the community and had so much more to give."

Lane was born in Nashville and graduated from the University of Georgia.

After college, he worked for a major advertising agency in New York for a couple of years, according to The Lane Report website. He later moved to Atlanta, where he was sales manager for WRNG radio and was president of the Atlanta Young Republicans.

He also got into the commercial real-estate business, which led to a job as national director of real estate for Lexington-based Jerrico in its Atlanta regional office, The Lane Report said. Lane came to Lexington regularly as he scouted new locations for the company, and he was involved in many site acquisitions for Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes nationwide.

In 1981, Lane started the Lexington-based commercial real-estate brokerage Lane Consultants and, later, Lane Communications Group, publisher of The Lane Report.

Running a magazine is "a risk that very few people have been able to be successful in," but Lane "did it terrifically well," said Jim Host, founder of Host Communications and former Kentucky secretary of commerce.

"It ended up kind of being the official business magazine of the state," he said.

Host said Lane was kind, insightful and had a non-threatening demeanor during interviews "but also really got to the core of what he was trying to communicate."

"I admired the dickens out of him," Host said.

Former councilman Doug Martin said he and Lane were from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but they enjoyed breaking bread together in a restaurant or at Lane's home.

"He was a fine chef," said Martin, who sat next to Lane in the council chambers from 2009 to 2013. "He was always very proud of coming up with some great concoction or some great recipe or some great ingredient that he'd found. He would have pots of herbs and fish and seasonings, and it would all just kind of stew together, and it would end up in this fabulous presentation."

A celebration of Lane's life will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Hilary J. Boone Center on the University of Kentucky campus.

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