James A. “Jimmy” Pattison (1928-

James A. "Jimmy" Pattison

Year Born: 1928


Pattison, James A. “Jimmy” (1928- )

From life’s simple beginnings in Luseland, Saskatchewan, west of Saskatoon, Jim Pattison moved to Vancouver in 1935.  He became a self-made billionaire after initially buying a Vancouver car dealership in May 1961 with a $40,000 loan secured by his home and life insurance policy.  As Chairman, CEO and sole owner, he built the Jim Pattison Group into the third largest privately held company in Canada, with 26,000 employees, annual sales of over $5 billion and assets totaling more than $3 billion, operating in such industries as food services, packaging, distribution, communications, entertainment, and transportation; and with investments in Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Asia and Australia.

In 1985 Jim Pattison acquired Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, a chain of for-profit museums.  In 1995 he purchased Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs, California home for US $4.3 million, preserving the estate in great detail, including the replacement of art and furniture that left when Sinatra did.  The home is a corporate retreat along with his white-carpeted yacht, Nova Spirit, which is used to ferry visiting executives on harbour cruises along the West Vancouver waterfront.

His venture into broadcasting began with the purchase of CJOR Vancouver from the Chandler family in 1965.  In 2003, The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, based in Kamloops B.C., owned three television stations and 19 radio stations in British Columbia and Alberta. 

CJOR, his first broadcast acquisition, was a talk station, which subsequently changed to classic rock CHRX, to Christian music as CKBD The Bridge and then to its current very successful adult favourites format, identifying as AM 600.  While Chairman of the EXPO ’86 World’s Fair, he started CJJR-FM Vancouver as a country station, with the original format continuing to this day.

The stations of the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group  made significant contributions to their various communities, sponsoring such initiatives as Relay for a Friend, Basics for Babies, the United Way, and the Hospital Foundation’s New Century Campaign, earning a reputation for leadership through public service.

Jim Pattison was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1987 and to the Order of British Columbia in 1990.  In 1992, he received the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.  He was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1996 and is one of the eight inaugural laureates of the Canadian Professional Sales Association Hall of Fame.

On October 10, 2002 , Jim Pattison was awarded the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Gold Ribbon for Broadcast Excellence.

 In 2008, Jim’s Pattison Group acquired GWR, the company that operated the Guinness World Records franchise.

On March 28th 2017, Jim Pattison made history by donating the sum of $75,000,000  to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation in Vancouver, the largest donation in Canadian history by a private citizen to a single medical facility. Pattison gave the $75 million to build the Jim Pattison Medical Centre, an 18.4-acre health campus on False Creek Flats that would serve as the home of the new St. Paul’s Hospital and several other facilities.