James Irving

J.D. Irving

James Irving’s family fortune dates back to the 19th century, when his grandfather left Scotland and launched a general store and lumber and farming companies.

Early life

James Irving was born on March 20, 1928, and raised in Saint John, New Brunswick. He is the eldest son of billionaire industrialist K.C. Irving, who he succeeded after his death in 1992, inheriting the ownership and responsibility for Brunswick News and J. D. Irving, Limited.


James Irving attended Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.


James Irving’s family fortune dates back to the 19th century, when his grandfather left Scotland and launched a general store and lumber and farming companies. Throughout the 1920s, his father added to the Irving empire with oil operations. Upon his death in 1992, James and his brothers Arthur and John, split the assets. Irving took over the responsibility and ownership of the companies including J.D. Irving Limited., and Brunswick News. J.D. Irving Limited is privately owned, headquartered in Saint John, New brunswick. The company is one of the largest private firms in Atlantic Canada with many industries, including food processing, agriculture, building supplies, newsprint, pulp and paper, ship building, shipping lines and transportation. The company forms, with Irving Oil, Ocean Capital Investments and Brunswick News, the bulk of the Irving Group of Companies which groups the interests of the Irving family.

Net Worth

James Irving has an estimated net worth of $6.9 billion USD. He was ranked by Forbes as the 4th richest person in Canada and ranked #680 on Forbes 2021 Billionaires List.


James Irving is a Canadian business magnate who has accomplished many milestones during his lifetime. Owning a conglomerate with more than two dozen companies in frozen foods, retail, shipbuilding, transportation and more, he also runs a timber and forestry operation, based in New Brunswick, that has planted over a billion trees since 1957. Irving has been involved in several philanthropic activities for the advancement of his home province of New Brunswick. In 1996, Irving was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was made a Member of the Order of New Brunswick and of the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2008. Community is something that is very important to Mr. Irving, as evidenced by his involvement in capital campaign leadership for the regional Nature Conservancy of Canada as well as the Université de Moncton. In addition, Irving has supported Cape Breton University’s Center for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE). Selflessly, he has given his time, expertise and resources to the project. Most recently, Mr. Irving joined the CSEE’s inaugural advisory board, thus reinforcing and continuing his relationship with the University. Mr. Irving has served on the Federal Economic Advisory Council and sits on the boards of the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Massachusetts, as well as the Ivey Advisory Board of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He is also actively involved in leading his company’s efforts in wild Atlantic salmon conservation and research, and building international award-winning partnerships with elementary and middle schools and post-secondary institutions.