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Jim Pattison

For the baseball player, see Jimmy Pattison (baseball).
Jim Pattison
Born (1928-10-01) October 1, 1928 (age 87)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Nationality Canada
Alma mater University of British Columbia (dropped out)
Occupation Owner of the Jim Pattison Group
Known for founder of Jim Pattison Group
Net worth 11px US$ 9.5 billion
(December 2013)[1]
Religion Pentecostalism[2]
Spouse(s) Mary Pattison
Children 3

James Allen "Jim" Pattison, OC, OBC (born October 1, 1928) is a Canadian business magnate and philanthropist. He is based in Vancouver. He is the Chief Executive Officer, Chairman and Sole Owner of the Jim Pattison Group, the second largest privately held company in Canada, making him one of Canada's richest people.

Early life and education

Pattison's parents resided in the rural town of Luseland,[3] Saskatchewan when he was born at the hospital in nearby Saskatoon. Growing up in East Vancouver, his first summer job was playing trumpet in children's church camps[3] and later picking fruit (raspberries, cherries, and peaches) during the summer while in high school.[3] Pattison had many jobs while in high school, including selling doughnuts in the school parking lot, selling seeds door to door, delivering newspapers, and working as a page boy at the Georgia Hotel.[4]

After high school, he worked in a cannery, a packing house, as a laborer building bridges in the mountains, and then for the Canadian Pacific Railway as a dining car attendant[3] before accepting a job washing cars at a gas station with a small attached used-car lot.[3] By chance, while the regular salesman was away, Pattison sold one of the cars on the lot and found his profession.[3] He attended John Oliver Secondary School. He parlayed that success into a job selling used cars during the summer at one of the largest used-car lots in Vancouver, using his earnings to pay for his studies at the University of British Columbia[3] (although he did not complete his studies[5] being three classes short of a business degree).[3]


After leaving school, he linked up with a local General Motors dealer and in 1961, using his sales skills to persuade a Royal Bank manager to lend him eight times the branch's limit, he opened a Pontiac dealership[6] on Main street near his elementary school, and, a quarter century later, was selling more cars than anyone else in Western Canada.[7]

His company, the largest privately held one in Canada[1] owns numerous car dealerships, Overwaitea Foods and Save-On-Foods, Ripley's Believe It or Not!, Guinness World Records and radio & TV stations in British Columbia and Alberta. He also owned the Vancouver Blazers of the World Hockey Association.

Pattison led the organization of Expo 86 in Vancouver as the CEO and president of the Expo 86 Corporation. When he was appointed to the Order of B.C., the award noted, "Although others may have had the initial vision for Expo ’86, it was Jimmy Pattison who was the expediter – the one more than anyone else who made it happen. He demanded much of his team but no more than he himself was prepared to give. This he did, almost full-time over a five-year period, without compensation..."[8]

He was involved with the committee for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

On February 15, 2008, Jim Pattison Group announced the purchase of the GWR organization, the company known for its Guinness World Records franchise. Aptly enough, its annual book, published in more than 100 countries in 37 languages, is the world's best-selling copyrighted book.

Among other honors, Pattison is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of British Columbia. He was also listed as No. 178 on the 2008 Forbes list of the world's richest people.[9] He is also listed as the richest Canadian.[1]

Pattison, who owns approximately 30% of the shares of Canfor, was recently in a dispute over governance with money manager Stephen A. Jarislowsky, whose firm owned 18%. Pattison won and ousted CEO Jim Shepherd over Canfor's poor performance and declining share price, replacing him for the interim with Jim Shepard.[10]

Since September 2013, Mr. Pattison has been amassing shares of Just Energy Group, a natural gas and electricity reseller with a customer-base in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, to which he is now an insider and dealing at non-arms length under the Canadian Income Tax Act, owning more than 11% of the shares outstanding[11]


On April 16, 2009 Jim Pattison announced that Save-On Foods had donated $100,000 to CBC Television in order to rent high definition trucks for away games during the Vancouver Canucks' 2009 1st round NHL playoff series versus the St. Louis Blues. Prior to this donation, CBC stated that it would not broadcast HD away games in St. Louis due to the cost of renting high definition equipment during the current tough economic times and major cuts to funding for the CBC by the federal government.[12]

Pattison is a well known philanthropist and an article in the Globe and Mail noted, "He has always given away 10% of his income."[3] In July 2013, he donated up to $5 million to Victoria Hospitals Foundation (Victoria, BC), to support its "Building Care Together" campaign to purchase new equipment for the new patient care tower at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. In recognition, the hospital named the ground floor lobby of the patient care tower “The Jim Pattison Atrium and Concourse.”[13] In Surrey, BC, the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre was named for him.

Personal life

He married his childhood sweetheart, Mary. They have three children.[14][15]

Further reading

  • Jimmy: An Autobiography by Jim Pattison and Paul Grescoe (1987)
  • Pattison: Portrait of a capitalist superstar by Russell Kelly (Nov 1986)

See also



  1. ^ a b c James Pattison takes crown as Canada’s richest as new information reveals David Thomson’s fortune smaller than thought December 2013
  2. ^ Todd, Douglas. "Charismatic Christians spread ‘exciting’ faith to immigrants". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 18 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Jimmy has the last laugh". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Pattison's father was already in the business back in Luseland, Sask., on the day in 1928 that his only son was born... 
  4. ^ Vancouver Sun, September 8, 2011
  5. ^ National Post: "Still Going Strong" September 30, 2006
  6. ^ MacLeans: "Jim Pattison, the Warren Buffett of B.C" by Tamsin McMahon February 16, 2012
  7. ^ Hutchinson, Brian (June 30, 2012). "Summer Jobs Series: Multi-billionaire Jimmy Pattison fondly recalls his first work in the ’40s". National Post. Retrieved 1 July 2012. It was my first summer job and I loved it,” says Mr. Pattison. “I travelled, I met a lot of people, I played my horn, and I met my future wife. We’ve been married 61 years. It was a huge experience for me. 
  8. ^ "Order of British Columbia, 1990 Recipient: Jim Pattison – Vancouver". 
  9. ^ Forbes
  10. ^ "Jimmy Got Mad". 2007-09-06. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Hockey Night in Canada gives Vancouver the Bird", Vancouver Province, April 16, 2009.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Still going strong". National Post. 
  15. ^ "At 74, Jimmy Pattison focuses on long term". Globe and Mail. June 2, 2003. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 

External links

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