Paul Ramsay

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Paul Ramsay
Sydney, Australia
Died1 May 2014
Bowral, New South Wales
Cause of deathHeart attack
EducationSt Ignatius College, Riverview
OccupationBusinessman, philanthropist
Spouse(s)Single, never married

Paul Joseph Ramsay AO (January 1936 – 1 May 2014) was an Australian businessman and philanthropist.


Born in Sydney,[1] he grew up in Burradoo in the Southern Highlands, New South Wales.[2] He attended St Ignatius College, Riverview.[2]

In 1964, Ramsay founded one of the first private psychiatric hospitals in Sydney.[3][4][5] It evolved into Ramsay Health Care, a private hospital company of which he was chairman of the board.[6][5] As of July 2014 it comprised 151 hospitals and day surgery facilities in Australia, Europe and Asia.[7] He was one of the initiators of television aggregation in Australia and built stations across the country, which today form part of the PRIME7 Television Network. Ramsay was chairman of the Prime Media Group for almost 30 years until relinquishing this role in April 2014.[3][2][4][5] He sat on the board of directors of Adstream and on the advisory board of the Australian Science Media Centre.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 2009, he was appointed chairman of Sydney FC.[5][8] He also owned luxury real estate.[3] He served on the board of the George Gregan Foundation.[6] He was chairman of Ramsay Youth Services, a charity for young people.[6] He sat on the Board of the Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation.[5] In 2002, he became an Officer of the Order of Australia for his philanthropy.[6][4][5][8] In June of the same year, he was on the Queen's Birthday Honours List.[6] In 2011, he donated AUS$300,000 to the Kevin Spacey Foundation.[2]

Ramsay never married. Prior to his death, in 2014 his net worth was estimated by Forbes at US$3.4 billion.[3] He was the thirteenth richest person in Australia.[3]

Aged 78, he died on 1 May 2014 in his Bowral home after suffering a heart attack in Spain.[9]

Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation[edit]

In 2017 the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation was launched, funded by a bequest by Ramsay, who had "wanted a significant part of his personal fortune to be spent on funding an academic centre to revive the liberal arts and humanities".[10][11] The bequest was the "biggest philanthropic gift in the history of education in Australia" and the Centre, headed by Simon Haines, formerly professor of English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, was launched by the former Australian Prime Minister John Howard. The balance of Ramsay's estate was donated to the separately administered Paul Ramsay Foundation which seeks to address disadvantage in health and education[12].

In June 2018 the Australian National University (ANU) pulled out of the proposed multi million dollar Western Civilisation degree citing concerns about integrity. The ANU's Vice-chancellor stated that the university had “approached the opportunity offered by the Ramsay Centre in a positive and open spirit”. The president of the ANU branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, Matthew King, stated that the he was concerned that the degree would “pursue a narrow, radically conservative program to demonstrate and promulgate the alleged superiority of western culture and civilisation”.[13] In reply, Elizabeth Stone, member of the Ramsay Centre board and Queenwood principal, argued: "The great philosophies and books and thinkers and histories of particular civilisations, in this case the West, are worthy of study, as are Indian civilisations or Asian civilisations".[14] Robert Phiddian, a professor of English at Flinders University and founding director of the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres, stated that "the Ramsay bequest is the biggest opportunity the humanities in Australia have experienced since the rapid expansion of universities in the 1960s and 70s".[15]


  1. ^ "Paul Ramsay, Billionaire Private-Hospital Operator, Dies". Bloomberg. 1 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Nauman, Zoe (4 December 2011). "Sydney billionaire Paul Ramsay gives Kevin Spacey $300,000". The Daily Telegraph. Australia.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Australia's 40 Richest: #13 Paul Ramsay". Forbes. 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Ramsay Health Care Board of Directors
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation Archived 10 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Bloomberg BusinessWeek
  7. ^ Ramsay Health Care, About Us.
  8. ^ a b Paul Ramsay Group
  9. ^ "Health care, media mogul Paul Ramsay dies". The Australian. 1 May 2014.
  10. ^ Robert Bolton, "Paul Ramsay donation paves way for new centre to study Western civilisation", Australian Financial Review, 19 November 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  11. ^ Alexandra Smith, "Universities line up for new Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation", The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Michael McGowan, "university explains why it walked away from grant for western civilisation degree", The Guardian, 6 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  14. ^ Jordan Baker, "Queenwood principal backs Ramsay Centre vision", The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  15. ^ Robert Phiddian, "For the sake of humanities, don't reject Ramsay's gift", The Australian, 20 June 2018, p. 33. Retrieved 20 June 2018.