Aug. 22, 1951 New York New York County (Manhattan) New York, USA
Business Magnate, Canadian Sports Benefactor. Bickell was a popular Toronto, Ontario, businessman who had a great contribution to the benefit of professional hockey. Bickell had successful career in business thanks to the success of the teams of the Toronto St. Pats and the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as many other causes. Bickell who was born in Toronto, Ontario, on September 26, 1884, became an industrialist, mining executive and financier. By the the age of 23 Bickell had started his own brokerage firm and later managed the McIntyre-Porcupine mine making it one of the greatest producers in North America. Bickell later furthered his business ventures by becoming involved with hockey through his business partner Charlie Querrie, who was a managing director of the Toronto St. Pats. He invested $25,000 of his own earnings to help solidify the team and functioned as a silent partner. The team was later purchased by the Maple Leaf hockey club in 1927. In 1931 on the advice of his friend Conn Smythe, he was also instrumental in donating money to help fund the building of the future Maple Leaf Gardens, which was built over a five month period during the Great Depression. After the building was completed, Smythe appointed Bickell as the first Chairman of the Board of the Maple Leaf Gardens. From 1932 to 1951, the Gardens became the scene of 7 Stanley Cup wins, the last one just before Bickell's death. After his death on August 22, 1951, at the age of 66, the J.P. Bickell Foundation was founded to look after his many business interests including his vast empire, the Hospital for Sick Children, medical research projects, and Ontario Universities that offered several course studies including geology. The J.P. Memorial Cup was later established in his honour. Bickell was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a Builder in 1978.