© Jimmy Pattison Vancouver Fourth of July (cropped), Wikimedia Commons
Jim Pattison began his career after purchasing a General Motors automobile dealership by borrowing $40,000 from the Royal Bank of Canada.
Jim Pattison is a Canadian business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. Born on October 1, 1928 and raised in the rural town of Luseland, Saskatchewan, Pattison’s family moved to East Vancouver, British Columbia when he was six years old. His first summer job was playing trumpet at a children’s church camp and 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. In 1947, Pattison graduated from John Oliver Secondary School and began working 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 before accepting a job washing cars at a gas station. Pattison found his profession selling used cars at one of the largest used-car lots in Vancouver, using his earnings to pay for his studies at the University of British Columbia, however, he did not complete his studies, as he was three classes short of a business degree.
In May 1961, Jim Pattison began his career after purchasing a General Motors automobile dealership by borrowing $40,000 from the Royal Bank of Canada and placing his home and life insurance policy with the bank as collateral. Today, he owns Canada’s second-largest privately held company with 46,000 employees world-wide, annual sales of $10.6 billion and operations in 541 locations. The Jim Pattison Group is a diversified holding company operating primarily in the United States and Canada, with hundreds of locations worldwide. The Jim Pattison Group is made up of numerous strong and diverse operating divisions, which span the automotive, advertising, media, agricultural equipment, food and beverage, entertainment, exporting, financial, real estate, and periodical distribution industries. In addition to serving as the CEO of The Jim Pattison Group, Pattison has served as a director on a number of public company boards on both the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, and serves as a trustee on the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. JIm Pattison held the unpaid position of Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Expo ’86, the world-class exposition held in Vancouver in 1986.
As the founder, Chairman and CEO of Jim Pattison Group, Jim Pattison has an estimated net worth of $12.1 billion and is ranked #241 on Forbes 2021 Billionaires List.
Not only does Jim Pattison hold the position of chief executive officer and chairman of the Jim Pattison Group, but he remains the sole owner of Canada’s second largest privately-held company. In 1987, Pattison was appointed to the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia in 1990, receiving the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary in Canada. Other recognitions include being inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Canadian Professional Sales Association Hall of Fame. He was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and the Young Presidents’ Organization Canadian Icon Award in 2007. In April 2012, by command of Her Majesty The Queen, Pattison received the Diamond Jubilee Medal commemorating her sixtieth anniversary of ascension to the throne. In June of 2014 he was given the Freedom of the City Award from the City of Vancouver, in recognition of his gained international acclaim in the arts, business, and philanthropy. In December 2018, Pattison was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and was named Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020. Jim Pattison’s entertainment division includes Guinness World Records, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! chain and Great Wolf Lodge’s Canadian franchise rights. The Guinness World Records have sold over 130 million copies in more than 100 different countries worldwide.