Jack Rabinovitch, Founder of The Giller Prize

Jack Rabinovitch (Photo by Don Dixon)

It is with enormous sadness that the family of Jack Rabinovitch announces his death on August 6, 2017, at Sunnybrook Hospital as a result of injuries suffered in a catastrophic fall at his home a few days ago. He died surrounded by the love and support of his three daughters Noni, Daphna, and Elana, his partner Judy Clarke, his sister Shirley (Edith) and extended family and friends.

Born in Montreal 87 years ago, Jack grew up as one of “St Urbain’s Horsemen”, and often joked that he learned his math skills selling newspapers with his father at the corner of Ontario and St Lawrence streets in Montreal. He graduated from Baron Byng High School and McGill University and became a truly remarkable and successful businessman and developer, working across North America.

After the death of his wife Doris Giller, Jack took on a second career as a philanthropist, founded the Giller Prize, and built an extraordinary network of friends across generations and the many cultures of Canada. He was a key volunteer advisor to the building of the new Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, a project he helped bring in ahead of schedule and under budget. He was an athlete and sports fan, a renowned storyteller, a lover of the arts, a dedicated traveller and dear friend and confidant to countless people who are now bereft but able to celebrate the life and memory of this wonderful man. He was a proud recipient of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

Jack’s biography

Home page photo credit: Courtesy of Canadian Press


We are immensely grateful for the many kind words and moving tributes to Jack.

Bob Rae’s eulogy for Jack Rabinovitch
Jack Rabinovitch lived life fully, and although we all feel a sense that at 87 his life was still cut short, let us celebrate through the tears.

Jack Rabinovitch: “He believed in the books, the readers, the publishers, and literary community with a rare joy and hopefulness”

Jack Rabinovitch remembered for changing Canada’s literary world

Remembering Jack Rabinovitch, with Vincent Lam and Rick Mercer

Jack Rabinovitch, Founder of Canadian Literary Award, Dies at 87

Jack Rabinovitch, créateur du prix Giller, est décédé