James Joseph Patterson

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For other people named James Patterson, see James Patterson (disambiguation).

James Joseph Patterson (1923–1992) was an American newspaper executive who was part of an influential publishing family.


Patterson was born in England in 1923 and raised in Ossining, New York. Patterson was the only son of Joseph Medill Patterson, the founder of the New York Daily News and the great-grandson of Joseph Medill, owner of the Chicago Tribune and mayor of Chicago.[1] His mother was Mary King, the first female editor of the Tribune.[2]

Patterson graduated from West Point in 1944 and went on to achieve the rank of captain in the United States Army. In April 1944 his engagement was announced to Dorothy Marie Clarke (born May 4, 1922); they had met in grade-school run by St. Augustine Catholic Church in Ossining.[3] Her father was a prison guard at Sing Sing prison with 14 siblings.[4] They were married on June 10, 1944 in the Catholic Church.[2][5] He joined the Daily News in 1949 as a reporter in the Washington bureau. After working in various positions, he became vice president and assistant managing editor of the Daily News in 1958. The couple never had children, and retired to Longboat Key, Florida in 1979.[2] He died on June 24, 1992 in Washington, DC.[1] Dorothy Clarke Patterson died September 30, 2007.

Patterson's nephew, Joseph Medill Patterson Albright, son of his older half-sister Josephine Patterson Albright (1913–1996), married former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Another older half-sister, Alicia Patterson (1906–1963) founded Newsday.[2]

The estate of Dorothy Clarke Patterson made one of the ten largest charitable bequests in the United States in 2008.[6] The bequest to create the Patterson Foundation was estimated to be $225 million.[7] unlike many large donors, she left few guidelines for the gift.[4]

Patterson married Adirondack author Barbara McMartin in January 1968. The couple divorced in 1976.[8][9]

Family tree[edit]


  1. ^ a b "James J. Patterson, Daily News Executive, 69". New York Times. June 25, 1992. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Honoring the Legacy". The Patterson Foundation. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Milestones". Time magazine. April 17, 1944. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Philanthropist's fortune comes with challenge". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. January 2, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Lt. J. J. Patterson Weds Miss Clarke; Son of Daily News Publisher Takes Ossining Girl as Bride in Church Ceremony". New York Times. June 11, 1944. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Philanthropy 50: Americans Who Gave the Most in 2008". The Chronicle of Philanthropy. 2009-10-01. Archived from the original on June 12, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  7. ^ "Report: Patterson Foundation in Sarasota gets $225M bequest". Tampa Bay Business Journal. August 4, 2008. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Roamin' Round". The Leader-Herald. August 9, 1975. p. 3.  (mentions Barbara McMartin's marriage to James J. Patterson of The New York Daily News)
  9. ^ "Writing prizes to N.Y. women; aid to students". Editor & Publisher. November 15, 1969.  (includes caption and photograph of Mrs. James J. Patterson and Mr. Patterson)