Kenneth Thomson and how he became a billionaire

On this day, September 1 in the year 1923, the parsimonious billionaire who owned media conglomerate Thomson Corporation was born in Ontario, Canada. His name was Kenneth Thomson, Canada’s richest and one of the richest in the world.

Kenneth Thomson
Kenneth Thomson (Credit: wiki commons)

Kenneth Thomson was the son of a media mogul who founded Thomson Corporation. He received a degree in economics and law from the St. John College of the University of Cambridge. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. After his discharge, he joined the family business.

When his father passed away in 1976, Kenneth succeeded him as chairman of the company that operates newspapers and television holdings. Under his stewardship, Thomson Corporation refocused its businesses into financial data services and academic publishing. He sold most of the community newspapers, retaining only the Globe and Mail newspapers which are under the 40% owned Bell GlobeMedia and disposed its North Sea oil holdings. In 2002, the company was listed in the New York Stock Exchange.

Although Kenneth inherited the noble title of 2nd Lord Thomson of Fleet, he did not use it in Canada, preferring to be simply called Ken. He was known to be gentle and kind but full of energy and enthusiasm for his businesses.

Kenneth Thomson died of heart attack in 2006 at the age of 83. He had 3 children with his wife Nora Marilyn. At the time of his death, he net worth was estimated $22 billion making him the 9th richest in the world.


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