Family, friends and colleagues gather to remember Patrick J. McGovern on the 10th anniversary of his passing.

A large group gathers around a tree.

Honoring a visionary

Family, friends and colleagues gather to remember Patrick J. McGovern on the 10th anniversary of his passing.

A large group gathers around a tree.
Family, friends and colleagues gather to remember Patrick J. McGovern on the tenth anniversary of his passing. Photo: Steph Stevens

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the passing of Pat McGovern, an extraordinary visionary and philanthropist whose legacy continues to inspire and impact the world. As the founder of International Data Group (IDG)—a premier information technology organization—McGovern was not just a pioneering figure in the technology media world, but also a passionate advocate for using technology for the greater good.

Under McGovern’s leadership, IDG became a global powerhouse, launching iconic publications such as Computerworld, Macworld, and PCWorld. His foresight also led to the creation of IDG Ventures, a network of venture funds around the world, including the notable IDG Capital in Beijing.

Beyond his remarkable business acumen, McGovern, with his wife, Lore, co-founded the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT in 2000. This institute has been at the forefront of neuroscience research, contributing to groundbreaking advancements in perception, attention, memory, and artificial intelligence (AI), as well as discoveries with direct translational impact, such as CRISPR technology. CRISPR discoveries made at the McGovern Institute are now licensed for the first clinical application of genome editing in sickle cell disease.

Pat McGovern’s commitment to bettering humanity is further evidenced by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, which works in partnership with public, private, and social institutions to drive progress on our most pressing challenges through the use of artificial intelligence, data science, and key emerging technologies.

Remembering Pat McGovern

On this solemn anniversary, we reflect on Pat McGovern’s enduring influence through the words of those who knew him best.

Lore Harp McGovern
Co-founder and board member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research

“Technology was Pat’s medium, the platform on which he built his amazing company 60 years ago. But it was people who truly motivated Pat, and he empowered and encouraged them to reach for the stars. He lived by the motto, ‘let’s try it,’ and believed that nothing was out bounds. His goal was to help create a more just and peaceful world, and establishing the McGovern Institute was our way to give back meaningfully to this world. I know he would be so proud of what has been achieved and what is yet to come.”

Robert Desimone
Director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research

“Pat McGovern had a vision for an international community of scientists and students drawn together to collaborate on understanding the brain.  This vision has been realized in the McGovern Institute, and we are now seeing the profound advances in our understanding of the brain and even clinical applications that Pat predicted would follow.”

Hugo Shong
Chairman of IDG Capital

“Pat’s impact on technology, science and research is immeasurable. A man of tremendous vision, he grew IDG out of Massachusetts and made it into one of the world’s most recognized brands in its space, forging partnerships and winning friends wherever he went. He applied that very same vision and energy to the McGovern Institute and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, in support of their impressive and necessary causes. I know he would be extremely proud of what both organizations have achieved thus far, and particularly how their work has broken technological frontiers and bettered the lives of millions.”

Vilas Dhar
President of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation

“Patrick J. McGovern was more than a tech mogul; he was a visionary who believed in the power of information to empower people and improve societies. His work has had a profound effect on public policy and education, laying the groundwork for a more informed and connected world and guiding our work to ensure that artificial intelligence is used to sustain a human-centered world that creates economic and social opportunity for all.  On a personal level, Pat’s leadership was characterized by a genuine care for his employees and a belief in their potential. He created a culture of curiosity, encouraging humanity to explore, innovate, and dream big. His spirit lives on in every philanthropic activity we undertake.”

Genevieve Juillard

The legacy of Pat McGovern is felt not just in Boston, but around the world—by the thousands of IDG customers and by people like me who have the privilege to work at IDG, 60 years after he founded it. His innovative spirit and unwavering commitment to excellence continue to inspire and guide us.”

Sudhir Sethi
Founder and Chairman of Chiratae Ventures (formally IDG Ventures)

“Pat McGovern was a visionary who foresaw the potential of technology in India and nurtured the ecosystem as an active participant. Pat enabled a launchpad for Chiratae Ventures, empowering our journey to become the leading home-grown venture capital fund in India today. Pat is a role model to entrepreneurs worldwide, and we honor his legacy with our annual ‘Chiratae Ventures Patrick J. McGovern Awards’ that celebrate courage and the spirit of entrepreneurship.”

Marc Benioff
Founder and CEO of Salesforce
wrote in the book “Future Forward that “Pat McGovern was a gift to us all, a trailblazing visionary who showed an entire generation of entrepreneurs what it means to be a principle-based leader and how to lead with higher values.”

Pat McGovern’s memory lives on not just in the institutions and innovations he fostered, but in the countless lives he touched and transformed. Today, we celebrate a man who saw the future and helped us all move towards it with hope and determination.