The Patterson Foundation History

<
Image of Chicago Times building
1855

The Chicago Tribune

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.

Image of The Chicago Fire

Joseph Medill

1871

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.

Image of Dick Tracy cartoon

The Daily News

1919

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.

Image of old New York map

James Patterson

1923

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.

Image of old time radio broadcast

Radio and Television

1924

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.

Image of Dorothy and James Patterson

Jim and Dorothy

1936

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.

Image of Jim and Dorothy at their wedding

Graduation and a Marriage

1944

Jim Graduates from West Point and Marries Dorothy

Jim Patterson graduates from West Point and marries his high school sweetheart Dorothy Clarke.

US Army Logo

Captain Patterson

1944

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.

Image of a New York Daily News Building

The Daily News

1949

Jim Joins The Daily News

Jim Patterson joined The Daily News as a reporter in its Washington Bureau.

Image of a New York Daily News Headline

A Promotion

1958

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.

Aerial view of Longboat Key, FL

Retirement

1979

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.

Image of Jim Patterson

Jim Passes

1992

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.

The Patterson Foundation logo

A Legacy Begins

1997

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.

Image of Dorothy Patterson

Dorothy Passes

2007

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.

Image of DC Chair, Jon T. Berteau

The Designation Committee

2009

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.

Image of Origami

An "unfettered charter"

2010

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.

>