Jim Tyree Celebrated
Chicago lost one of its best citizens in the passing of Jim Tyree. He was an awesome person and a brilliant businessman. He was the best.
He was the Chairman of Meisrow Financial. He was a leader. He championed many causes. My friend, Dr. Wayne Watson, introduced me to Jim while Wayne was the Chancellor of City Colleges and Tyree was the Chairman. They were an awesome duo. Energy galore, abundant ideas and they were focused on the community college with a student focus. Together with Mayor Daley's blessings they were determined to build Kennedy King College with pure passion. Shame on you if you got in their way about a student or a program.
Neither Wayne or Tyree got the fanfare they should have when both moved beyond the City Colleges. They were terrific together. They didn't know each other at first, but became fast friends.
When Jim was considering purchasing The Chicago Sun Times, we had lengthy conversations about the newspaper business and how Chicago had to be a two paper town. He put a group together to buy the paper and asked if I would seek out AFrican American business people to be a partner in the group. There were no takers. I watched Jim worked his magic until he got the right group. He was firm and focused. I admired his will and tenacity. He saved the paper in a bad business climate and a changing industry. I thought he was a real champion and a hell of a businessman to take the project on. He was a saint for the Chicago Sun Times. He saved the paper and he became real high on my list because of his efforts
He had serious health challenges and never did you hear him complain. He was always with a smile, he was always encouraging and steadfast. It doesn't get better than James Tyree. He was quite a man. He gave of himself. He have his time, his energy and his money in all that he did.
Chicago lost one its favorite citizens. He will be missed. He was a real model for the business community. I was glad to have known him.