An idea is known to change a life. When coupled with passion and commitment, it can pave the way for an entire generation. James Goodnight has been a pathfinder in modern day technology.
Known as the “Godfather of data analytics,” James ‘Jim’ Goodnight is a technology entrepreneur par excellence. Born on January 06, 1943, he is the co-founder of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Institute along with John Sall in 1976. He was still teaching at North Carolina State University at the time. All over the world, SAS is used by over 70,000 universities, organizations and governments.
Goodnight Family Profile
Goodnight Parents – Albert Goodnight and Dorothy Patterson Goodnight
Goodnight’s parents ran a hardware store at Wilmington, North Carolina. Though James worked in his father’s store as a youth, his parents by no means curtailed their only child’s big dreams.
Goodnight Spouse – Ann Baggett Goodnight
Goodnight met Ann when she was studying at Meredith College and he was a senior at North Carolina State University. They got married in 1966.
Ann is a patron of arts, an advocate of education reform, a philanthropist, and a hotel owner. She has 3000 pieces of art on SAS campus and owns the Asian fusion restaurant called An Cuisines in Cary.
Children Of James Goodnight and Ann Baggett Goodnight
Goodnight has three children with Ann. None of them wish to continue the SAS legacy.
Leah has an economics degree from Duke University. She is the founder of Beanie & Cecil boutique apparel stores located in Wilmington and Raleigh. She also served as marketing director for her father’s Umstead Hotel and Spa.
Susan attended the Wake County schools, just like Leah.
James Arthur Goodnight
The youngest of three Goodnight children, James graduated in psychology and history from UNC-Chapel Hill. His job involves purchasing historic properties in Raleigh and renovating them.
Education and Career
Goodnight’s fascination with making machines that can help people, instigated his foray into computer technology. A PhD in Statistics, Goodnight joined North Caroline State University to help create a General Purpose Statistical Analysis System for evaluating agriculture data.
After successfully catering to 100 customers, Goodnight and his friends opened shop of the SAS Institute in 1976. Goodnight also programmed software for electrical equipment used in ground stations of the Apollo Capsule. This experience helped him understand the corporate employment culture. Today Goodnight’s employee friendly policies are renowned.
The Goodnights along with friends John Sall, and his wife Ginger, established a private school called Cary Academy on the SAS campus. Evert child has a computer in this school. Its founders believe that children live in a digital age and should be equipped suitably.
Goodnight Family Net Worth
Goodnight’s net worth is $7.2 billion in October, 2014. He is the 59th Richest Person in the United States of America and ranks #177 in the Forbes Billionaires list.
A man of technology can be a people’s man too. James Goodnight’s entrepreneur skills are only bettered by his enviable work ethic.