James K. Irving

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James K. Irving
Born (1928-03-20) March 20, 1928 (age 87)
Residence Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Owner, J.D. Irving
Net worth $6.3 billion[1]
Children 4
Parent(s) K.C. Irving
Relatives Arthur Irving (brother)

Canadian businessman,

James K. Irving, OC, ONB (born March 20, 1928) is a Canadian businessman, the eldest son of industrialist K.C. Irving. With an estimated net worth of $US 6.3 billion (as of May 2015), James Irving (with his brother Arthur) was ranked by Forbes as the 4th wealthiest person in Canada and 216th in the world. He is regarded as one of the leading Canadian industrialists of his time.


After their father's death in 1992, ownership and responsibility for the Irving companies was divided as follows:

  • James K. Irving (J.K.) – Ownership of and responsibility for Brunswick News (publishing); and J. D. Irving Limited, a conglomerate with interests in forestry, pulp and paper, tissue, newsprint, building supplies, frozen food, transportation, shipping lines, and ship building. J. D. Irving Limited is Atlantic Canada's largest private company.
  • Arthur Irving – Ownership of and responsibility for Irving Oil, its retail stores, oil refinery, oil tankers and distribution terminals and facilities.
  • John E. Irving (Jack) — Ownership of and responsibility for construction, engineering, and steel fabrication companies. After his death in July 2010 he was succeeded by son John Irving Jr.

Since assuming control of J.D. Irving Limited, James Irving led an extensive diversification of the company.In 1957, he pioneered the company’s reforestation and tree improvement programs and expanded the forest products’ business. By 2010, it had over 300 vertically integrated subsidiaries. The company was started by his grandfather, hence the name.

In 1996, J.K. was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2008 he became a Member of the Order of New Brunswick and the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.[2] He is occasionally involved in efforts to preserve the Atlantic Salmon in northeastern North America.[3] Irving also started the PALS (Parters assisting local schools) program for school children locally in Saint John N.B.

See also[edit]

  • Kenneth Colin Irving for an overview and history of the development of the Irving Group of Companies.


  1. ^ "James Irving". Forbes. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Order of New Brunswick recipients 2008". 
  3. ^ Acadia University News Release, "Acadia University honours accomplished Canadians", May 8, 2003