Who was Paul Ramsay? He left the largest private bequest in Australian history in the Paul Ramsay Foundation, yet, very few people knew of Paul Ramsay. How did his personality shape both his business and private life? As the proud descendant of several generations of Australians, the grandson of the father of Canberra, and the son of a distinguished First World War airman, Paul set out to be a “somebody”. However, nature did not seem to equip young Paul with the necessary drive and intellectual capabilities to make his way in the world of business. The youthful Paul was a dreamer and an awkwardly self- conscious young man. Eventually, equipped with a first- class education at the hands of the Jesuits, and armed with Dale Carnegie’s business bible, Paul went in a direction that neither his friends nor his family could have predicted, and founded Ramsay Health Care. Two former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott both knew Paul Ramsay well and are part of the circle of friends who provide insights into Ramsay’s life. Howard describes this biography as “a wonderful chronicle of the life of a special man who touched the lives of so many others”, and Abbott says “ Angela Shanahan’s thoughtful and charming biography makes clear, Ramsay’s business life was a kind of proof of Dale Carnegie’s dictum that if you do the right thing by others, they’ll (mostly) do the right thing by you”. In a roller coaster journey of financial ups and downs, Ramsay Health Care was to become one of the world’s largest hospital companies. Along the way Paul came in contact with a bevy of acquaintances and friends who, if asked how he did it, will all answer: ‘ it was his personality.’ This is the story of the development of that extraordinary personality, as seen through the eyes of his many friends and colleagues. Ramsay’s largesse outlived him and he was the embodiment of the Jesuit ideal. He was A Man For Others.
Paul Ramsay – A Man For Others – Angela Shanahan
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