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Jim Hogle of Utah’s Hogle Zoo dies at age 83

Posted at 11:27 AM, Oct 07, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Jim Hogle, of Utah’s Hogle Zoo has died at the age of 83.

His death was announced Wednesday.

With very heavy hearts, Utah's Hogle Zoo announces the passing of one of its leaders, James E. “Jim” Hogle, Jr., Zoo Chair Emeritus, former Chairman of the Board, community leader and philanthropist after a year-long battle with liver cancer.

Named after his grandfather who, along with wife Mary, donated the Zoo’s current site, 83 year–old Jim Hogle was involved with the Zoo in various capacities his whole life – from picking up trash for $1 a day as a 12 year-old, to serving on the board of directors for 42 years, many of them, as chairman.

Hogle’s steady leadership and involvement saw the Zoo through a period of tremendous growth – increasing Zoo size and operation, adding new programs and almost all of the current exhibits and buildings enjoyed at the Zoo today.

In true Jim Hogle fashion, he gave credit for the Zoo’s success to everyone but himself. The Zoo honored Hogle in 2019 by naming its new meerkat exhibit in his name.

“Jim’s leadership on the board is principally responsible for the Zoo’s survival and success,” said current board chairman, Paul Dougan. “We were friends from the age of five, grew up together and served together on the Zoo board for over 40 years. I will miss him very much.”

But Hogle’s influence reached far beyond Zoo grounds. Throughout his life, he served on numerous committees, boards and philanthropic efforts throughout the community. Hogle was recognized for his service with the prestigious Philanthropic Leadership Award in 2016, presented by the Utah Nonprofits Association, an honor reserved for outstanding individuals who demonstrate an exceptional commitment in the community through direct involvement, financial support and leadership.

Jim learned this love of service working alongside his father, also James E., who once served on so many committees a fellow businessman told him “you spend more time on community affairs and philanthropy than your business.”

“My father believed he had to give something back, and he loved Salt Lake City as do I,” Jim often said. “When you’re associated with an institution, you’ve got to make sure it is as good as it can be for the community in which you live.”

"My father's legacy and achievements will live forever though Utah's Hogle Zoo," said Jim's son Patrick, who has also served on the Zoo board since 2002.

Hogle Zoo is proud of its association with Jim Hogle, but more importantly, grateful to have called him a friend and colleague.