Shawn Hurwitz, prominent Houstonian, killed in Austin boat crash
A Sunday boat crash killed a prominent Houston businessman and community leader.
Shawn Hurwitz, CEO of Sam Houston Race Park, which ran the race track in northwest Houston, died around 5 a.m. on Lake Austin.
Austin fire officials told the media that Hurwitz's craft collided with an object then sunk. The 50-year-old Houstonian died at the scene. Another victim was taken by STAR Fight, but died at the hospital.
Since 2002 he led Maxxam's real estate subsidiary and became general director of the whole corporation in 2007--a position he held at the time of his death, according to Bloomberg.
Maxxam Inc. owns lumber operations, commercial real estate and race tracks in Texas, Arizona, California and Puerto Rico.
Hurwitz was also a principal financial backer for KIPP charter schools, a nationwide system of open-enrollment college prep schools in underprivileged neighborhoods, and he chaired the boards of Houston's eight KIPP facilities.
Texas Sen. Paul Bettencourt , R-Houston, called Hurwitz "a public-policy innovator" who met routinely with state legislators to apply lessons learned from his successful school model to public education in Texas.
"It's important people realize how involved he was with KIPP and with public education," Bettencourt said. "He was one of the bright minds in public policy. He will be missed."
In a press release, a Hurwitz family friend, J. Kent Friendman, said, "Shawn Hurwitz's generous spirit and huge heart touched so many people over the years that this news will be devastating to people across the state and nation. We will share more information about the services and remembrance as appropriate and it becomes known to us."
Hurwitz was a long-time resident of Piney Point Village, the west Houston suburb consistently named Texas' richest town.