George Richardson, Patriarch of Richardson Family, Dies

George Taylor Richardson, the former president of Winnipeg, Manitoba-based James Richardson & Sons and governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, has died. He was 89.

He died yesterday, according to a company statement.

Richardson spent 27 years as president of James Richardson & Sons, a family firm with holdings in agriculture, oil and gas and finance that started in 1857. During his tenure, Richardson Securities of Canada merged with Greenshields Inc. to form what was the largest privately owned Canadian investment dealer.

He became the first Canadian-born governor of Hudson’s Bay in 1972. While in the post, the headquarters of Canada’s oldest company moved its headquarters from London, England, to Winnipeg, according to the statement.

“George’s vision helped grow the business into one of Manitoba’s most successful international companies and one of the oldest privately owned companies in Canada,” Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said in an e-mailed statement.

Richardson was born in Winnipeg on Sept. 22, 1924, son of James and Muriel Richardson. With his wife, Tannis, Richardson had two daughters, Pamela and Karen, and two sons, David and Hartley, who is the company’s current president and chief executive officer. He was predeceased by two daughters, Pamela and Karen.

An experienced helicopter pilot, Richardson would fly himself to remote outposts across the prairies and Canadian north, author Peter C. Newman wrote in The Acquisitors, the second volume of his series about Canada’s business leaders.

The Richardsons are the ninth richest family in Canada, with a net worth of C$4.46 billion ($4.1 billion), according to Canadian Business Magazine.

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