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Jim Paratore

TMZ Founder

Dies at 58

5/29/2012 3:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Jim Paratore
-- the man who founded TMZ and created a slew of hit shows including "Ellen" and "Rosie" -- died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday during a bike trip in France.

Jim was President of Telepictures -- a division of Warner Bros. --  when he dreamed up the idea of getting into the digital business back in 2006.  Jim and Harvey developed the concept of TMZ ... and Jim sold it to the big wigs, which was no small feat.

Jim was a driving force behind and then was critical in creating the TMZ television show. 

Jim was a huge force in the TV business.  After Ellen DeGeneres came out, no one wanted to take a chance on her.  Jim recognized her great talent and literally went station to station across the country and convinced very nervous and reluctant general managers that they should take a chance on her -- that she was a talent who could connect with and touch everyone ... and Jim was right.

Jim was a triple threat -- an amazingly creative guy who never let convention get in the way of a good idea.  He was also a great producer who could execute the ideas that were in his head.  And he was the best salesman in the world -- Jim could convince anyone of anything.

His list of credits is endless.  On his watch, a slew of shows were produced, including "The People's Court," "The Bachelor," "Extra," "Judge Mathis"  and on and on.

He was also hilarious.

Jim is survived by his wife, Jill Wickert, and his daughter, Martinique Paratore.

Everyone at TMZ was touched by Jim's brilliance and the loss is great and painful. 

Jim was 58.


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Dita Wildflower    

So no pictures of the room he died in TMZ? I mean, since you felt ballsy enough to post Whitneys private photos or hell, even MJ's corpse, why don't you post this guys? Oh, that's right, because he's your buddy.

785 days ago


I very talented gentlemen and the fact he takes time to take a bicycle ride in Europe tells you he is extremely grounded.

The world lost a good one.

785 days ago


he seamed like a very nice guy and took care of his enployes i hope you all keep up the good work program he instilled in all of the people at tmz make his familey proud and harv pick up the people and give the familey everything you can to comfofort them in this time of need go out of your ways to help them with this loss ill pray for the familey and all of you so sory and bless all of the familey

785 days ago


my heart breaks for you all.

785 days ago


my heart breaks for you all.

785 days ago


the hate makes me sick
think about this mans family and friends.

785 days ago

There's a problem here    

May he RIP. He probably blew a gasket when he checked out the juvenile idiot site TMZ is becoming. If you really want to pay homage to him and his product how about cleaning things up here and hiring someone with an IQ above 8?

785 days ago


Wow sorry to hear it, and he was fairly young.
Condolences to family, and friends of his at TMZ.
Just a note...
I see Ellen DeGeneres as one of nicest, most honest, sincere and fun loving people on television.
So thanks for Ellen, Jim, you done good buddy ;)

785 days ago

Not Amused    

Karma is a real bitch huh. While I feel for his family, sometimes you reap what you sow.

785 days ago


Sad day. Condolences to his friends & family.

785 days ago

Mr. X    

If TMZ does a tribute to Jim, wisecracks from the narrator. That's all we ask.

785 days ago


My deepest condolences my love for our loss ...Wish I could put the smile on your face right now that you and the TMZ family put on mind every-night...going to tune in now ...Love you Harvey! <3

785 days ago


That's why I take a statin, fish oil and vit D just in case

785 days ago

the artist formerly known as hand turkey    

Dang, 58 is young for a heart attack.

Good journey, Jim.

785 days ago


My condolences to his family and friend's. RIP

785 days ago
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