The man behind TMZ, founder Jim Paratore, died Tuesday due to a heart attack during a bike trip in France. The well-respected man was known for TMZ, as well as creating shows including Ellen and Rosie, and his death came as a surprise to many.
Paratore was the president of Telepictures – a division of Warner Bros. – when he got started in the digital business in 2006. Paratore developed TMZ and sold it to major companies.
Paratore, among other things, was a great friend to Ellen DeGeneres. After DeGeneres came out as gay, Paratore went everywhere trying to convince people to hire her. DeGeneres tweeted on Paratore’s death: “My friend, producer and champion Jim Paratore died today. He gave me a chance when no one else would. I love you, Jim.”
Paratore has a long, long list of accomplishments. He made it possible for a slew of shows to be produced, including The People’s Court, The Bachelor, Extra, and Judge Mathis.
Paratore left behind his wife, Jill Wickert, and his daughter, Martinique Paratore.
He was 58.
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