Pierre Péladeau

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Pierre Péladeau, CM OQ (April 11, 1925 – December 24, 1997) was a French-Canadian businessman. He was the founder of Quebecor Inc., a Canadian media company centered in the province of Quebec, and the father of former Parti Québécois leader Pierre Karl Péladeau.

Life and career[edit]

Péladeau was born in Montreal on April 11, 1925 as the first of seven children of Henri Péladeau, a failed timber businessman.[1] He attended an exclusive finishing school, before completing a degree in philosophy from the Université de Montréal, and a law degree at McGill University.[1] While studying for the bar exam in 1950, Péladeau purchased a struggling community paper, Le Journal de Rosemont, with a $1,500 loan from his mother, Elmire.[1]

In 1964, the employees of La Presse, the major Montréal French-language newspaper, went on strike, giving Péladeau the room to create his own newspaper, Le Journal de Montréal.[1] Péladeau would create Quebecor in 1965, with Le Journel de Montréal as its flagship publication.[2]

In 1977, Péladeau expanded Quebecor into the United States by starting a daily sports-heavy tabloid called The Philadelphia Journal, which was unsuccessful and ended its publication run in 1981.[1][2] Péladeau later spoke of his failed venture and the loss of his 14 million USD investment as "the most expensive M.B.A. in the United States."[1]

In 1983, Quebecor bought the Winnipeg Sun.[2]

Despite Péladeau's strong support for Quebec sovereignty, he chaired a committee in charge of organization Montreal's Canada Day celebrations in 1987.[1]

Péladeau started The Daily News of Montreal in 1988 in a partnership with British newspaper magnate, Robert Maxwell, but it closed two years later.[1]

In 1989, Péladeau said that hat women had no place on corporate boards because "they seduce too much."[1] In 1990, Péladeau was quoted in l'Actualite magazine saying that Jews "take up too much space'" in Quebec, and was forced to issue a statement of apology claiming that he meant it in the context of Jewish fashion designers getting the lion's share of coverage from Montreal newspapers.[1]

Death and honours[edit]

Péladeau suffered a heart attack on December 2, 1997, and fell into a coma.[1] On December 24, Péladeau died at Hotel-Dieu Hospital in Montreal at the age of 72.[1] A private memorial ceremony for Péladeau was planned for December 29 in Sainte Adele's Pavillion des Arts.[1]

At the time of his death, Quebecor had 6.3 billion CAD in revenue and Le Journal de Montreal was the Canadian newspaper with the third largest circulation as well as the largest French newspaper in Quebec[1] Quebecor Printing was North America's second-largest commercial printer.[1] Péladeau left the company to his heirs, and his son, Pierre Karl Péladeau would become president and CEO in 1999.[2]

In 1987, Péladeau was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 1989, he was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec.

In 1999, Quebecor established an annual bursary for young Quebec entrepreneurs award in his name.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Péladeau had four children, Erik, Isabelle, Pierre Karl, and Anne-Marie, with his first wife, Raymonde Chopin, who died in 1976.[1][4] Pierre Karl Péladeau would serve as CEO of Quebecor before serving one year as leader of the Parti Québécois from May 2015 to May 2016. Érik Péladeau served as a former Vice-Chairman of Quebecor Inc. He had two children, Simon-Pierre and Esther with his second wife, Line Parisien, whom he divorced.[1] Péladeau had a long-term relationship with Manon Blanchette that ended before his death; that relationship produced one son, Jean.[1] Péladeau's time spent with Quebecor meant that he was often an absent father to his children.[5]

In 1987 Péladeau told The Globe and Mail that "I've had all the women I wanted, when I wanted them."[1] Péladeau also openly boasted that he only spoke English when he could make a profit by doing so.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Depalma, Anthony (1997-12-27). "Pierre Peladeau, 72, Leading Quebec Newspaper Publisher". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Five things to know about Quebecor". Winnipeg Free Press. The Canadian Press. May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Quebecor | Pierre-Péladeau Bursaries". www.quebecor.com. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  4. ^ "Sister of Quebec media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau killed in car crash". www.cbc.ca. Retrieved 2016-05-04. 
  5. ^ MacDonald, L. Ian (May 3, 2016). "How one TV interview by his ex killed Péladeau’s political career". iPolitics.ca. Retrieved May 4, 2016.