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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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Today has only been my second day since I joined this beautiful web site , I'm deeply sorry to hear of Jim's passing, my deepest condolences go to his family and friends.

854 days ago


Prayers & Thoughts to his family. Godspeed

854 days ago


I'm so sorry for the loss. RIP and thanks for the years of entertainment :-)

854 days ago


The loss of Jim is the story here--my prayers to his family and friends. He touched many lives, and we don't all get to say that. But I am saddened by all the "hate" comments here--those who "hate" anything positive said about him. These people really need some prayers.

854 days ago


This is keeping it "too real"

Sincere condolences to his family. Way too young. Thanks for all the entertainment he brought us. Hopefully was having fun on his bike trip beforehand. Never forgotten.

854 days ago


Sad. He sounds like a great guy. Too bad they don't extend that courtesy while reporting other deaths, not to mention a honoring picture.

854 days ago


Sorry for your loss, guys. Prayers for Jim and his family.

854 days ago

Jay W.     

RIP Jim.

854 days ago


Sincere condolences to the family and friends.
this is keeping it "too real"

854 days ago


I am sorry for this mans family as well as the people he worked with in the office and the people who usually post the negative stuff here for a paycheck..
TMZ staff are all young except Harvey of course , so this must be an unexpected shock....
Huge loss for his family and friends ..
And so well liked and respected..
Unfortunately , they are getting a little taste of what others people families have gone through , to see the rift raft come out and say they were this and that , here is a terrible picture of your loved one, we have reason to believe they were a communist ..All the rest of it ..It is hurtful when you see it about someone you cared about , but he did create this site , so he was probably the person who came up with some of the nasty stuff TMZ does.
At any rate, my condolences to his family and friends..He looked like a nice person:((

854 days ago


I prayers go out to Jim's family.

Question to TMZ ....will you be making fun of Jim's passing away on your TV show like you did when Donna Summers passed away?

854 days ago


My prayers go out to Jim's family and friends.

Question to TMZ ....will you be making fun of Jim's passing away on your TV show like you did when Donna Summers passed away?

854 days ago

See the irony?    

Where the TMZ spin you hypocrites? What about the alleged mistresses he was rumored to have, or that coke habit he may or may not have died from? Weren't any strangers in the area that he could allegedly be connected to while the investigation continues? Of course there's an autopsy planned, right? So we gotta ask, drug-indcuded affair gone wrong or he's a completely innocent saint who just wanted to air other people's dirty laundy? Just sayin'! Too soon??

854 days ago


An amazingly talented man-what a loss for his family and loved ones. Shame he is tainted with this POS site. Oh well, we can't have ALL winners!

854 days ago



854 days ago
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