Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# Patrick McGovern

Random fact: Wrote nouns on index cards, shuffled and chose three to get company name.


McGovern was the founder and majority owner of International Data Group, a Boston-based publisher of 200 magazines, 460 websites and market research, almost all of which focus on technology. The company has $3.6 billion in annual revenue and had more than 280 million regular readers of its publications in 2013. He died on March 19, 2014. His shares of IDG passed to his private foundation.

As of Jan. 21, 2018:
Last change ()
YTD change ()
Industry Communications
Biggest asset N/A
Citizenship United States
Age 76
Wealth Self-made
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Relative Value

Patrick McGovern's net worth of can buy ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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Net Worth Summary

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Birthdate: 8/11/1937
Family: Married, 4 children

Patrick J. McGovern was born in Queens, New York, in 1937. Encouragment in math from a nun at his Philadelphia parochial school and a knack for woodworking from his construction-project manager father exposed McGovern to building technology-related projects in high school. As part of his application to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the mid-1950s, he built a computerized tic-tac-toe game. He was awarded a full scholarship to the Boston-area school.

While a freshman at MIT, he got a job as an assistant editor at a Newton, Massachusetts-based magazine publisher focused on the nascent computer industry. The thrill of getting accomplished people to speak to him because he was an editor planted the seed to go into publishing for himself, according to an oral history McGovern gave for IDG's Computerworld Honors Program in 2000. Four years after graduating MIT, in 1964, he founded International Data Group, coming up with the business plan and name on the train between New York and Boston. He raised $15,000 in prepaid subscriptions through direct mail to potential customers within two weeks.

The success of his first publication, Computerworld, led to hundreds of other technology magazines, including the first American-published magazines for consumers in the the Soviet Union and China. With the advent of the Internet, IDG expanded into more than 400 websites, many web-only versions of what were once print magazines. McGovern also founded MacWorld magazine and its namesake conference with the first Macintosh computer from Apple in 1984. The company also publishes market research and employs more than 1,000 analysts to create content.

McGovern expanded IDG beyond publishing, founding a separate venture capital company called IDG Ventures to invest in companies in China. He later added funds focused on Vietnam, Korea, India and the U.S.

In 2000, McGovern and his wife, Lore Harp McGovern, pledged $17.5 million annually over 20 years to found the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. The couple lived in Hollis, New Hampshire, and had four children, two each from their first marriages.

Patrick McGovern died on March 19, 2014.

  • 1937 Patrick Joseph McGovern is born in Queens, New York.
  • 1951 Builds computerized tic-tac-toe game and receives full scholarship to MIT.
  • 1964 Founds International Data Group. Chooses name on New York-Boston train ride.
  • 1980 Creates first mainland China business with Computerworld China.
  • 1980 Marries Lore Harp. They each have two children from prior marriages.
  • 1988 IDG becomes first U.S. publisher to put out a magazine in Soviet Union.
  • 1992 Vietnam's first computer publication debuts with PC World Vietnam.
  • 1998 IDG and Hearst form joint venture to publish Cosmpolitan magazine in China.
  • 2000 Pledges $350 million over 20 years to establish brain research institute.
  • 2007 InfoWorld ceases print publication and becomes online only.
  • 2012 International Data Group revenue reaches $3.4 billion.
  • 2014 Patrick McGovern dies.