Tribute to James Patterson

Date: Nov. 20, 2004
Location: Washington, DC

TRIBUTE TO JAMES PATTERSON -- (Senate - November 20, 2004)

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I rise today to pay tribute to an upstanding and generous member of the Louisville, KY, community, Mr. James Patterson.

Born and raised in Louisville, Jim, as his friends call him, has always loved two things: his hometown, and baseball. He attended the University of Louisville, also my alma mater, where he starred on the Cardinal baseball team and graduated in 1955 with a degree in marketing.

After graduating, Jim served a stint as a Captain in the United States Air Force and eventually returned to Louisville, which is also my hometown, where he embarked on a very successful business career as a restaurateur. Quite frankly, if you have ever eaten in Louisville, chances are you ate in one of Jim's restaurants. In 1959, he became a franchisee of Jerry's Restaurant. Ten years later he founded the Long John Silver's seafood restaurant chain. Under Jim's leadership, Long John
Silver's rose to number one in the country, and today is the largest seafood restaurant chain in the world.

Jim helped found Chi-Chi's Mexican Restaurant, Rally's Hamburgers, and Western Restaurants. He has also founded the companies AmeriCall Services, Resource America and First Phone, worked with Gulfstream Petroleum, and currently owns Pattco LLC, a privately held investment vehicle.

Jim has always believed in sharing his success with the city he loves. In 1998, he founded School Choice Scholarships, a privately funded program that helps low-income families pay tuition for their elementary-aged children to attend private schools. School Choice Scholarships provide assistance for 650 Louisville youths, 250 of whom owe their scholarships to
Jim personally.

Jim has finally combined his two loves, Louisville and baseball, by donating a very generous sum to enable the University of Louisville to begin construction on a new, $10-million baseball stadium, which broke ground this October 7. In their gratitude, the university has named the facility the Jim Patterson Stadium.

Today, I ask my colleagues in the Senate to join me in paying tribute to Jim Patterson for his passion, kindness, and charity. He is a valuable member of the Louisville community.