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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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I am sorry to hear this. I knew little of this man, but it sounds like he was not only brilliant but fair-minded and truly deserving of all his sucess. My prayers & sympathy to his family and colleagues. RIP Jim.

773 days ago

South Beach    

My sincere condolences to Jim's family, friends and everyone at TMZ at this very difficult time. The enjoyment I have personally gotten from Jim's creations cannot be measured. My thanks.

773 days ago


Too young to go. Rest in peace.

773 days ago


Well are you going to show his dead body or not I keep coming back to to see what dead pics you post. Dont you guys always like to show all the drama pics.

773 days ago


I think that if we could all die on a bicycle trip in France in May like Jim did, we would all die happy. At least he died doing something he enjoyed.

773 days ago


If you look on Facebook, etc. you can see all these self absorbed jerks who run off their credits and achievements before they even give kudos to Jim. They are pathetic. What do we need to hear a single word about you and what you've achieved? give the man his due and forget yourselves for one day. pathetic.

773 days ago


Wow, he gave that *** Ellen a second chance?? Wow how great he was! LOL

773 days ago


hate to see someone 58 have a heart attack and die..... after 40 years old, a heart stress test is key to finding out if your body has any issues before its too late...

773 days ago


my condolences and love to his family and friends

773 days ago

Debbie Davis     

Will be missed !!!! Sorry to hear this

773 days ago


Wow, way too young

773 days ago

Nick M    

R.I.P definitely grateful for all that you have given and done for the world.

773 days ago


Got any death scene pictures? You remember, like Whitney Houston? I assumed he wouldn't object as that's the kind of trash he allowed to be printed. An extraordinary journalist.

773 days ago


Sorry for your loss TMZ :( Condolances to his family and friends.

773 days ago


Guessing Harvey is too busy getting his spray tan that always looks orange. As always the generic by tmz staff.

773 days ago
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