PATTISON, Jimmy




Author Tags: Publishing

The subject of conflicting biographies by Russell Kelly and Paul Grescoe, British Columbia's best-known entrepreneur and philanthropist James Allen "Jimmy" Pattison is rarely considered as a literary figure, but he is arguably the province's most successful publisher. As the controlling force behind the Jim Pattison Group, Canada's third largest privately owned corporation, the former car salesman not only owns Beautiful British Columbia magazine and NewsGroup, the province's main supply chain for magazines and paperbacks, Pattison also owns the lucrative Ripley's Believe It Or Not! publishing franchise. Books published by the Ripley's operation are sold throughout the world and spinoffs are continuously syndicated in various media. Pattison served as president of Expo 86 and operates the fourth-largest charitable organization in Canada, in terms of grants, as of 2000. Pattison was born in Luseland, Saskatchewan on October 1, 1928 and arrived in Vancouver with his parents at age seven. He dropped out of university to sell cars in 1952.

[BCBW 2000] "Publishing"

RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Press Release 2004



RIPLEY'S CELEBRATES A 75TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A NEW BOOK OF “ODDITIES”

More than 80 years ago, Robert Ripley a sports cartoonist, created his first collection of odd facts and feats based on unusual athletic achievements for the New York Globe. His editor wanted the collection to describe the incredible nature of sporting feats, so he renamed it, Believe It or Not! That started a huge cultural phenomenon that became one of the most popular entertainment franchises in history. Believe It or Not! was successfully spun off into a syndicated newspaper cartoon, a series of blockbuster bestselling books, a popular radio program, museums, and several generations of syndicated TV programs. To mark the 75th anniversary of his 1929 bestseller (a small hardcover book with black and white illustrations), comes RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! (Ripley Entertainment; $25.95 U.S./$34.95 Canada; October 1, 2004), the ultimate “oddities” reference. An oversize, full-color hardcover book, RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! is chocked full of new and archival photos and illustrations devoted to the fascinating, amazing, bizarre and entertaining facts compiled by the world-famous Ripley Entertainment. The publisher has announced a 525,000-copy first printing.

Whether it’s a psychic with the ability to grow copper on her skin, a thrill-seeking couple who exchange wedding vows atop two biplanes 10,000 feet above ground, or attend an underwater music festival 30 feet below the surface of the sea off the coast of Florida, RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! is the resource that captures these strange and often weirdly fascinating feats of the human, material and natural world.

The general public has never lost its appetite for the unexplained or offbeat, which by the 1940s reached a fever pitch. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! syndicated cartoon appeared in over 300 newspapers around the world, was translated into 17 different languages and boasted an impressive readership of over 80 million people. Dubbed the “modern Marco Polo,” Ripley was a tireless world-traveler, seeking “oddities” for his insatiable public. He would eventually travel to 198 countries. Personally eccentric, Ripley drew his cartoons everyday between 7:00 and 11:00 a.m.—always drawing upside-down! He collected cars but never learned to drive. He was afraid to use a telephone, fearing he would be electrocuted.

Organized by subjects as diverse as alien life on earth, mysterious happenings, extraordinary animals in every type of habitat, body parts, the dead and buried, to computing, genetics, music, art and movies, to weird events, sports and unlucky people, RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! is a reference that compels investigation. Some BION (Believe It or Nots) highlights include:

• Top Five Unusual Auctions: Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller’s marriage certificate--$13,700. A black bra worn by Madonna on her 1993 tour--$8,000.
The toe tag from the corpse of Lee Harvey Oswald--$9,500.
• Dudu Mia, a Bangladeshi snake charmer has been known to eat some of the baby snakes he captures for his act. He recently ate most of the 3,500 baby snakes he collected over the course of two days from two houses.

• The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia is home to some of the strangest displays, such as skulls, a giant preserved colon and 3,000 items retrieved from human bodies, including a small metal battleship and a pair of opera glasses.

• Clint Eastwood is allergic to horses; Demi Moore was born cross-eyed; Johnny Depp has a phobia about clowns. Warren Beatty’s first job—rat-catcher; Sean Connery’s was a French polisher for a coffin-maker.

• A woman who bought a hardback version of the then unknown Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for $18. in 1997, sold it at auction for $21,600 in 2002.

• Michel Lottio, who goes under the stage name of Monsieur Montetout (Mr. Eat-All) has made a career out of devouring metal, crockery, and glass without suffering any ill-effects. His finest moment came in Caracas, Venezuela, where he began to eat a Cessna 150 light aircraft. It took him two years to consume the entire plane.

• Students from London’s Camberwell College of Arts spent 630 hours creating the world’s biggest popcorn sculpture—a 13-foot statue of King Kong weighing 1,720 pounds, the equivalent weight of four grown gorillas.

• A ten-year-old from Thailand cuddles up to a strange, but beloved pet—a three-year-old crocodile. The pet is over three feet long and weights 88 pounds. He lives indoors with two pet dogs. The boy cleans his sharp teeth every day and feeds him fresh chicken.

• Camel races take place weekly in Kuwait. A good racing camel can fetch anything between $3,000 and $40,000.

RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Press Release 2004



RIPLEY'S CELEBRATES A 75TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A NEW BOOK OF “ODDITIES”

More than 80 years ago, Robert Ripley a sports cartoonist, created his first collection of odd facts and feats based on unusual athletic achievements for the New York Globe. His editor wanted the collection to describe the incredible nature of sporting feats, so he renamed it, Believe It or Not! That started a huge cultural phenomenon that became one of the most popular entertainment franchises in history. Believe It or Not! was successfully spun off into a syndicated newspaper cartoon, a series of blockbuster bestselling books, a popular radio program, museums, and several generations of syndicated TV programs. To mark the 75th anniversary of his 1929 bestseller (a small hardcover book with black and white illustrations), comes RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! (Ripley Entertainment; $25.95 U.S./$34.95 Canada; October 1, 2004), the ultimate “oddities” reference. An oversize, full-color hardcover book, RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! is chocked full of new and archival photos and illustrations devoted to the fascinating, amazing, bizarre and entertaining facts compiled by the world-famous Ripley Entertainment. The publisher has announced a 525,000-copy first printing.

Whether it’s a psychic with the ability to grow copper on her skin, a thrill-seeking couple who exchange wedding vows atop two biplanes 10,000 feet above ground, or attend an underwater music festival 30 feet below the surface of the sea off the coast of Florida, RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! is the resource that captures these strange and often weirdly fascinating feats of the human, material and natural world.

The general public has never lost its appetite for the unexplained or offbeat, which by the 1940s reached a fever pitch. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! syndicated cartoon appeared in over 300 newspapers around the world, was translated into 17 different languages and boasted an impressive readership of over 80 million people. Dubbed the “modern Marco Polo,” Ripley was a tireless world-traveler, seeking “oddities” for his insatiable public. He would eventually travel to 198 countries. Personally eccentric, Ripley drew his cartoons everyday between 7:00 and 11:00 a.m.—always drawing upside-down! He collected cars but never learned to drive. He was afraid to use a telephone, fearing he would be electrocuted.

Organized by subjects as diverse as alien life on earth, mysterious happenings, extraordinary animals in every type of habitat, body parts, the dead and buried, to computing, genetics, music, art and movies, to weird events, sports and unlucky people, RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT! is a reference that compels investigation. Some BION (Believe It or Nots) highlights include:

• Top Five Unusual Auctions: Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller’s marriage certificate--$13,700. A black bra worn by Madonna on her 1993 tour--$8,000.
The toe tag from the corpse of Lee Harvey Oswald--$9,500.
• Dudu Mia, a Bangladeshi snake charmer has been known to eat some of the baby snakes he captures for his act. He recently ate most of the 3,500 baby snakes he collected over the course of two days from two houses.

• The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia is home to some of the strangest displays, such as skulls, a giant preserved colon and 3,000 items retrieved from human bodies, including a small metal battleship and a pair of opera glasses.

• Clint Eastwood is allergic to horses; Demi Moore was born cross-eyed; Johnny Depp has a phobia about clowns. Warren Beatty’s first job—rat-catcher; Sean Connery’s was a French polisher for a coffin-maker.

• A woman who bought a hardback version of the then unknown Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for $18. in 1997, sold it at auction for $21,600 in 2002.

• Michel Lottio, who goes under the stage name of Monsieur Montetout (Mr. Eat-All) has made a career out of devouring metal, crockery, and glass without suffering any ill-effects. His finest moment came in Caracas, Venezuela, where he began to eat a Cessna 150 light aircraft. It took him two years to consume the entire plane.

• Students from London’s Camberwell College of Arts spent 630 hours creating the world’s biggest popcorn sculpture—a 13-foot statue of King Kong weighing 1,720 pounds, the equivalent weight of four grown gorillas.

• A ten-year-old from Thailand cuddles up to a strange, but beloved pet—a three-year-old crocodile. The pet is over three feet long and weights 88 pounds. He lives indoors with two pet dogs. The boy cleans his sharp teeth every day and feeds him fresh chicken.

• Camel races take place weekly in Kuwait. A good racing camel can fetch anything between $3,000 and $40,000.