James V. “Jim” Kimsey was born on September 15, 1939, and died on March 1, 2016.
He was a co-founder, CEO and the first chairman of internet service provider America Online (AOL).
He was best known for having helped to create AOL, however, he also spearheaded a variety of other business, military and philanthropic endeavors.
Following his dismissal from Gonzaga College High School, he attended St. John’s College High School, followed by Georgetown University for one term on an honors scholarship, and then the United States Military Academy at West Point, from which he graduated in 1962.
Jim served in the U.S. Army, becoming a lieutenant and seeing active participation in U.S. interventions in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam.
Jim served three combat tours as an Airborne Ranger, two in the Vietnam War, earning various awards for service and valor.
Jim was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame, which recognizes the United States’ most extraordinary Rangers, in July 2005.
He received the Distinguished Graduate Award for Outstanding Service to the Nation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in 2008.
Kimsey also served as the Chairman Emeritus of Refugees International Refugees International, an independent advocacy group that works to protect refugees and end the cause of displacement.
He also served as a member of the board of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and as a Senior Fellow to the Department of Defense Business Board.
During 1970, after eight years in the military, Kimsey bought a building in downtown Washington, D.C., renting out the top floor.
And on the ground floor he built and opened a bar known as The Exchange.
Jim “became successful and opened other bars in the 1970s.”
He became a manufacturing consultant for Control Video Corporation, which was near bankruptcy, in May 1983.
Jim was brought in by his West Point friend Frank Caufield, an investor in the company.
Jim Kimsey passed away at 76 yrs old.