The Patterson Foundation History
Medill Elected Mayor of Chicago
Joseph Medill, Jim Patterson's great-grandfather, was elected Mayor of Chicago to help lead the city out of the devastating aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire.
Medill Buys the Tribune
Joseph Medill bought into the failing Chicago Tribune and transformed it into one of the most prominent newspapers in the nation, using it to help create the Republican Party and get Abraham Lincoln elected president.
Capt. Patterson Creates The Daily News
James Patterson's father, Capt. Joseph Medill Patterson, who worked in editorial for the Chicago Tribune, left Chicago to create The Daily News in New York City, which is considered the first “tabloid” in history because of its innovative use of photos and comics to tell the news.
James Patterson is Born in Ossining, NY
James (Jim) Joseph Patterson, son of Capt. Joseph Medill Patterson and Mary King, the first woman editor of The Daily News, is born in England and raised in Ossining, NY.
The First Broadcast Licenses In New York and Chicago
Working together, The Chicago Tribune and The Daily News secured the first radio and television broadcast licenses in Chicago and New York.
Jim Patterson and Dorothy Clarke Meet for the First Time
James Patterson meets his future wife, Dorothy (Dot) Marie Clarke, in a school run by St. Augustine Catholic Church in Ossining, NY. The couple begin dating in high school.
Jim Graduates from West Point and Marries Dorothy
Jim Patterson graduates from West Point and marries his high school sweetheart Dorothy Clarke.
Jim achieves Rank of Captain
Jim Patterson goes on to achieve the rank of Captain in the United States Army while serving in posts in the United States and Japan.
Jim Joins The Daily News
Jim Patterson joined The Daily News as a reporter in its Washington Bureau.
VP and Assistant Manager of The Daily News
After working various positions, Jim Patterson becomes vice president and assistant managing editor of The Daily News.
Jim and Dorothy Retired to Sarasota
Jim and Dorothy Patterson retire to Longboat Key in Sarasota, Fla., and become very active in the community while maintaining their trademark down-to-earth personalities.
Jim Patterson Passes Away
Jim Patterson passes away at age 69 due to complications from his diabetes. He leaves his extensive family wealth to his wife, Dorothy.
Dorothy Creates The Patterson Foundation
Dorothy Patterson creates a trust named The Patterson Foundation with a corpus of $3 million. Dorothy was never one to consider herself “rich” and she felt that the money left to her was not hers alone, so she practiced “kitchen-table philanthropy” and supported community charities close to her heart.
Dorothy Patterson Passes Away
Dorothy Patterson passes away at age 85. Her personal estate was left to the Foundation, building the corpus to approximately $200 million. Dorothy Clarke Patterson’s estate made one of the 10 largest charitable bequests in the United States in 2008.
A Formalized Governance
The Patterson Foundation trust formalizes its governance structure and names three members to its Designation Committee. After a nationwide search, Debra Jacobs is named the first President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation.
The Foundation's Work Begins
With its unique “unfettered charter” of no stipulations of geographic or issue focus, The Patterson Foundation created nine legacy initiatives to honor the Patterson family legacy. This unique charter gave foundation leaders flexibility, opportunity and responsibility to be imaginative in philanthropy for increased impact.