James Goodnight

About James Goodnight

Who is it?: CEO, SAS Institute
Birth Day: January 06, 1943
Birth Place: Cary, North Carolina, United States
Other names: James H. Goodnight, Jim Goodnight
Alma mater: North Carolina State University
Occupation: Businessman and software developer

James Goodnight

James Goodnight was born on January 06, 1943 in Cary, North Carolina, United States, is CEO, SAS Institute. James Goodnight cofounded the analytics software firm SAS in 1976 with John Sall, whom he met while a PhD student at North Carolina State University. Goodnight has been at the helm since the company's inception, when its software was developed to analyze agricultural data. Its products are now used by more than 83,000 organizations around the world, and 2016 revenue was $3.2 billion. Goodnight and Sall, also a billionaire, founded private school Cary Academy together and co-own a country club and a hotel.
James Goodnight is a member of Technology

Does James Goodnight Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, James Goodnight is still alive (as per Wikipedia, Last update: May 10, 2020).

🎂 James Goodnight - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

Currently, James Goodnight is 81 years, 3 months and 10 days old. James Goodnight will celebrate 82rd birthday on a Monday 6th of January 2025. Below we countdown to James Goodnight upcoming birthday.

Popular As James Goodnight
Occupation Technology
Age 80 years old
Zodiac Sign Aquarius
Born January 06, 1943 (Cary, North Carolina, United States)
Birthday January 06
Town/City Cary, North Carolina, United States
Nationality United States

🌙 Zodiac

James Goodnight’s zodiac sign is Aquarius. According to astrologers, the presence of Aries always marks the beginning of something energetic and turbulent. They are continuously looking for dynamic, speed and competition, always being the first in everything - from work to social gatherings. Thanks to its ruling planet Mars and the fact it belongs to the element of Fire (just like Leo and Sagittarius), Aries is one of the most active zodiac signs. It is in their nature to take action, sometimes before they think about it well.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

James Goodnight was born in the Year of the Goat. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Goat enjoy being alone in their thoughts. They’re creative, thinkers, wanderers, unorganized, high-strung and insecure, and can be anxiety-ridden. They need lots of love, support and reassurance. Appearance is important too. Compatible with Pig or Rabbit.

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Famous Quotes:

Ninety-five percent of my assets drive out the gate every evening. It's my job to maintain a work environment that keeps those people coming back every morning.



Goodnight was born to Albert Goodnight and Dorothy Patterson in Salisbury, NC, on January 6, 1943. He lived in Greensboro, NC, until he was 12, when his family moved to Wilmington. In his youth, he often worked at his father's hardware store. Mathematics and chemistry were Goodnight's strongest subjects in school, thanks in part, he says, to a "wonderful chemistry teacher" at New Hanover High School.


Goodnight received a Master's in statistics in 1968. While working on his Master's, his curiosity was piqued over the prospect of a man being sent to the moon. His programming skills helped him land a position at a company building electronic equipment for the ground stations that communicated with the Apollo space capsules. While working on the Apollo program, Goodnight experienced a work environment that had an annual turnover rate of approximately 50 percent. This shaped his views on corporate culture and his Future role as an employer. Goodnight returned to North Carolina State University after working on the Apollo project. He earned a PhD in statistics with thesis titled Quadratic unbiased estimation of variance components in linear Models with an emphasis on the one-way classification under the supervision of Robert James Monroe and became a faculty member from 1972 to 1976.


Goodnight joined another faculty at North Carolina State in a research project to create a general purpose statistical analysis system (SAS) for analyzing agricultural data. The project was operated by a consortium of eight land-grant universities and funded primarily by the USDA. Goodnight along with another faculty member Anthony James Barr became project Leaders for the development of the early version of SAS. When the software had 100 customers in 1976, Goodnight and three others from the University left the college to form SAS Institute in an office across the street.


In 1981 Goodnight was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. In 2004, he was named a Great American Business Leader by Harvard; that same year he was named one of America's 25 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs by Inc. Magazine. He has also been a frequent speaker and participant at the World Economic Forum.


Goodnight remained CEO of SAS Institute for more than 35 years as the company grew from $138,000 its first year in Business, to $420 million in 1993 and $2.43 billion by 2010. Under his leadership, the company grew each year. Goodnight became known for creating and defending SAS’ corporate culture, often described by the media as "utopian." He rejected acquisition offers and chose against going public to protect the company's work environment. Goodnight has maintained a flat organizational structure with about 27 people who report directly to him and three organizational layers.


Goodnight has an interest in improving the state of education, particularly elementary and secondary education. In 1996, Goodnight and his wife, along with his Business partner, John Sall and his wife Ginger, founded an independent prep school Cary Academy. Both of the Goodnights are also involved in the local Cary, NC, community. He owns Prestonwood Country Club and The Umstead Hotel and Spa situated on the edge of the SAS campus.


Goodnight's career with computers began when he took a computer course his sophomore year at North Carolina State University. At the time, he said, “a light went on, and I fell in love with making machines do things for other people.” The following summer he got a job writing software programs for the agricultural economics department. With contributions from other alumni, Goodnight was responsible for the construction of a new fraternity house in 2002.


Goodnight met his wife, Ann, while he was a senior at North Carolina State University and she was attending Meredith College. They have three children. Goodnight was America's 61st richest individual, with a net worth of approximately $7.3 billion, as of 2014.

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