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Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Turned Down Seat on Plane That Crashed, Killing Seven

Brand-new co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer Lewis Katz invited Rendell aboard.

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 01: Former Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell speaks onstage at the Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2013 at Philadelphia Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women

PHILADELPHIA (TheBlaze/AP) — Ed Rendell, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said new co-owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer Lewis Katz invited him on the doomed flight that crashed Saturday night, killing seven.

Former Democratic National Committee chairman and ex-governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell. (Image source: Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)

Rendell, also ex-governor of Pennsylvania and former mayor of Philadelphia, said Katz tried to persuade him Friday to attend an event at historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's Massachusetts home but Rendell had another commitment.

Katz, 72, and six others were returning home to New Jersey when the plane crashed on takeoff.

Rendell said Katz died at "maybe the high point of his life," thrilled this week after he and a partner won an $88 million auction for the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

Rendell added that he's flown on Katz's plane frequently since leaving the governor's office in 2011.

He noted that Katz's two pilots "maintained the plane like it was their lives and deaths."

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