Jack Poole

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John W. "Jack" Poole, OC, OBC (April 14, 1933, Mortlach, Saskatchewan[1] – October 23, 2009, Vancouver, British Columbia) was a Canadian businessman who, as the head of the VANOC bid committee, was responsible for bringing the 2010 Winter Olympics to Canada.[2]

He died of pancreatic cancer shortly after midnight on October 23, 2009, hours after the Olympic Flame was lit at the beginning of the 2010 Winter Olympics torch relay, in Olympia, Greece [3][4]

Poole was made a member of the Order of British Columbia in 2003[5] and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.[6]

Professional history[edit]

Poole graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1954,[7] with a degree in civil engineering. He subsequently entered the field of real estate development (in which position he hired B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, then a teenager, as a laborer; Poole later joked that he had given Campbell "his first job", and that by choosing Poole to chair VANOC, Campbell "gave me my last").[8] Poole co-founded Daon Development Corporation, the second-largest real estate development company in North America until its collapse in 1982.[1]


Poole was born the son of John Poole, a grain dealer.[1] He is survived by his second wife Darlene, four daughters, a stepson and his extended family. One of his grandsons, Blake Hawksworth, is a Major League Baseball pitcher. His granddaughter Erin Hawksworth is a reporter.[9]


Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza
Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza

To honour his work and achievement for the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics, the former Thurlow Plaza[10] was renamed Jack Poole Plaza[11] in his memory. The external cauldron for the games was chosen to be built at the Jack Poole Plaza as well.