Born in Toronto, Ontario, Godfrey grew up in a working class Jewish family in the Kensington Market neighbourhood of Toronto and later moved to the Bathurst and Lawrence area of North York. After graduating from Bathurst Heights Secondary School, he attended the University of Toronto and graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in chemical engineering. In 1999, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. In 2001, he received an honorary degree from Ryerson University. In 2003, he was inducted into Nunavut's Anuckchuck Tribal League of Honour. He and his wife Gina have three children.
He entered politics as an alderman in the borough of North York in 1964, serving until 1973. That year, he was appointed Chairman of Metropolitan Toronto, serving until 1984. He then left politics and joined the Toronto Sun as publisher and CEO from 1984 to 1991. Following his departure from electoral politics he has remained a highly influential backroom broker. He was particularly influential during the mayoral terms of Art Eggleton and Mel Lastman and played an instrumental role in the election of both men.
On September 1 2000, he became chief executive officer and president of the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club owned by Rogers Communications. He stayed until September 29 2008 when he announced his retirement. During his tenure, the Jays payroll increased from $71 million US to over $100 million US but this did not result in any playoff berths. The Jays did no better than 2nd place in 2006. Godfrey, who was one of the key supporters of the original proposal to bring a baseball team to the city, has also campaigned to bring the National Football League to Toronto.
Let's Do the Show Right Here; from Russian Rock and Roll Bands to Rock Legends U2 to Opera Stars and Ballet Dancers, Paul Godfrey, Who Brings Puccini's Madama Butterfly to Llandudno, Has Worked with Them All. and He's Still Amazed That the Shows Do Go on, as He Tells Jill Tunstall
Jan 10, 2003; Byline: Jill Tunstall THEY say that there's no such thing as coincidence but Paul Godfrey knows better. Who would have thought...
Arts: Bloc Booking for Grand Opera; While Birmingham's Large Scale Opera Comes from Wales, Wolverhampton Imports It from Further Afield. Terry Grimley Reports
Apr 27, 1999; Wolverhampton can enjoy Italian opera Polish-style this week, with productions of two popular Verdi operas from the National...