Gerald W. Schwartz wins the International Horatio Alger Award

Chairman of the Board and CEO of Onex to be honoured at Washington, D.C. ceremony

Washington, D.C., (December 2, 2015) – Gerald W. Schwartz, one of Canada’s most distinguished business leaders, has been chosen to receive the International Horatio Alger Award in 2016, the Horatio Alger Association announced today.

The International Horatio Alger Award is presented each year by the Washington, D.C.-based Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc. to an individual who has persevered through challenges to become a successful entrepreneur and community leader. Recipients of the Award become lifelong members of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada and its American affiliate and serve as role models for its young scholarship recipients. Mr. Schwartz will be honoured in Washington, D.C., during the 69th Annual Horatio Alger Awards Induction Ceremonies, which take place March 31-April 2, 2016.

“We couldn’t be happier to bestow this award on Gerry Schwartz, one of Canada’s most respected business leaders and generous philanthropists,” said Prem Watsa, President of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada. “Gerry went from part time jobs in high school to founding and running Canada’s largest private equity firm. His desire to succeed and can-do attitude made him the obvious choice for the 2016 International Horatio Alger Award.”

Mr. Schwartz was born into a Jewish family in post-war Winnipeg. He learned about business watching his father manage his business. Despite economic challenges, Mr. Schwartz attended the University of Manitoba and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. From there, he worked on Wall Street and returned to Canada to co-found CanWest Global Communications Corporation, a major media company based in his hometown. He later founded Onex Corporation, the private equity firm over which he still presides.

“No one succeeds alone. When I started my career, I benefited from mentors who taught me how to work in the real world,” said Mr. Schwartz. “I am honoured to receive the International Horatio Alger Association Award and look forwarding to getting to know and sharing experiences with the Association’s scholars and alumni.”

Mr. Schwartz and his wife Heather Reisman are avid philanthropists who know the importance of giving, especially when it comes to education. In addition to his many charitable endeavours, Mr. Schwartz is an Officer of the Order of Canada, was inducted in to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame, and serves on several corporate boards.

About the Horatio Alger Association of Canada

The Horatio Alger Association of Canada, the Canadian affiliate of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., is a charitable organization dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honours the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity by bestowing on them the Horatio Alger Award and granting them lifetime membership into the Association. Through the generosity of Horatio Alger Members, the Horatio Alger Association of Canada awards scholarships annually to deserving young people in every province and territory. Members of the Association include Dominic D’Alessandro, Murray Edwards, David Foster, Serge Godin, Wayne Gretzky, Rebecca MacDonald, the late G. Wallace F. McCain, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Jim Pattison, Isadore Sharp, Prem Watsa and Rick Waugh. For more information, visit

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Contact: Adam Daifallah, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7089, [email protected]

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