Remembering Pat McGovern, the technology media tycoon you never knew

Melissa Riofrio

"In my short time at IDG, I only got a single chance to meet Pat," says PCWorld Editor-in-Chief Jon Phillips, "but his legend preceded him. I've heard 'Pat stories' at company meetings, and in training sessions, and even from employees who've left the IDG fold. He was basically a founding father of tech media, and the magazines he established in the '80s created a blueprint for so much of the tech journalism we still read today. The fact that IDG is a three-pronged effort of tech media, tech research, and tech-focused venture capital says so much about his ambition level. And his fascination with brain research, via all his work with MIT, tells us that this guy's sense of wonder and intellect ran really, really deep."

So when we say goodbye to Pat today, we're not saying goodbye to your standard-issue CEO, who has to be smart, and good at building businesses and making hard decisions, all while maintaining a company's public face. Pat could do all of that. But he also brought a specific passion for technology to his job, which drove his ambitions for all of IDG's businesses. And he had a very warm and humane approach, which made him "Uncle Pat" to many of us, even on our hardest and longest days.

We still can't believe he's gone. He had always seemed to have boundless energy and enthusiasm, despite a work and travel schedule that would have exhausted any normal person. "He had the vigor that comes from loving what you do and loving your life," Steve Fox told me, and may we all be so lucky. Thanks for everything, Pat.

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