Patrick Joseph McGovern

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Patrick J. McGovern
IDG Chairman Patrick Joseph McGovern.jpg
McGovern awarded the “Innovation Award” for VIA Nano Processor in 2009
Born Patrick Joseph McGovern, Jr.
August 11, 1937
Queens, New York
Died March 19, 2014(2014-03-19) (aged 76)
Nationality USA
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S., Biophysics, 1959)
Occupation businessman, publisher, entrepreneur
Known for founding Computerworld magazine, large donation to MIT to found the McGovern Institute for Brain Research

Patrick Joseph McGovern, Jr. (August 11, 1937 – March 19, 2014) was an American businessman, known for being chairman and founder of International Data Group (IDG), a company that includes subsidiaries in technology publishing, research, event management and venture capital.

He was listed on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans in September, 2013 as having a net worth of $5.1 billion.[1]


Forbes magazine claims he earned a scholarship by designing an unbeatable tic-tac-toe program in the 1950s. He worked at the MIT student newspaper The Tech on the features staff during his sophomore year. McGovern received a degree in course 7, or biology/life sciences, from MIT, in 1959.[2] For a time, he was an editor of Computers & Automation magazine; founded, published and edited by Edmund C. Berkeley. McGovern started International Data Corporation (IDC) in 1964, which produced a computer industry data base and published a newsletter, EDP Industry & Market Report. McGovern started the weekly newspaper Computerworld in 1967. In 1980 he created one of the first American-Chinese joint ventures, and in 1997 Forbes estimated that "Pat McGovern has more readers in China than the People's Daily does."[3] In 1991 his company published "DOS For Dummies", the first of the very popular "For Dummies" series of books explaining various subjects to the lay person.[4] Bloomberg News reported that IDG had 280 million regular readers of its publications, and annual revenues of $3.6 billion.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Although born in Queens, New York, his family moved when he was a child to Philadelphia, where he delivered newspapers at the age of eight. He has been divorced once, has four children, and divided his time between Hillsborough, California and Hollis, New Hampshire. He and his second wife Lore Harp McGovern gave MIT $350 million to found the McGovern Institute for Brain Research. He was a trustee of MIT and of MIT's Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. He also served on Society for Science & the Public's board of trustees.[6]


In May 2012, Patrick McGovern had open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. He died on March 19, 2014, aged 76.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Profile: Patrick McGovern", Forbes magazine,; accessed May 16, 2011.
  2. ^ "MIT 2009 Bronze Beaver Award Winners"
  3. ^ The Boston Globe
  4. ^ The Boston Globe[1] by J.M. Lawrence, March 23, 2014
  5. ^ Bloomberg[2] by Laurence Arnold, March 20, 2014
  6. ^ "Press Release - Nobel Laureate Horvitz to Take Helm at Society for Science & the Public; Craig R. Barrett, Patrick J. McGovern, and Joe Palca join Distinguished Board; H. Robert Horvitz Elected Chair", press release, Society for Science & the Public, WASHINGTON, D.C., October 13, 2010
  7. ^ "Patrick J. McGovern: 1937-2014", Obituary from the McGovern Institute at MIT.
  8. ^ Miller, Stephen; Ante, Spencer E., "Patrick McGovern Dies at 76: Publisher Helped Define Computer Age and Made World Safe for 'Dummies'", The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014

External links[edit]