Jim Swenson’s story…

Including his dedication message in Opening Doors

I’ve often been asked if a book was written about me. I believe that’s because people are curious about success. How you achieve it. What price you pay for it. How you share it. Writing a book seemed like a fine idea. For later. When I had the time. But then I received some devastating news.

You see, when I was told I had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, I knew it was time to capture my memories and distill some life-lessons. And that’s why you have this book now…so nothing important is left unsaid.

It’s no secret that my temper has been known to flare. And, honestly, I’m mad as hell that my life is at risk again. However, knowing I have my soulmate with me—whether my temper is raging or not—is my life’s greatest pleasure. My wife, Sue, is the most precious gift I ever got in my life. We’ve never stopped learning from—or leaning on—each other.

I sincerely hope you find something in this book that touches you, inspires you or reignites you on your journey.

James Irving Swenson

Click here to find out more about Opening Doors.


The impact of Jim Swenson’s life at a glance

A few numbers can tell a lot about one person’s life

Families helped by an endowment to CHOC Children’s Hospital for food, transportation,
pharmaceuticals and end-of-life/memorial services for impoverished families

Pediatric patients were served by the Swenson Family Pediatric Operating Pavilion in the first
year alone at Mission Hospital

Student loan (paid to Jim in 900 $1 bills in 1958) that changed Jim’s life and sparked his
philanthropic giving

University students received four-year, full-ride scholarships

University students received summer-research science scholarships

People employed at Details Inc.

Most two-pound batches of peanut brittle that Jim made in one holiday season

Most thriller novels Jim read in one year

Number of times Jim beat cancer


The scrapbook of a lifetime

Here are just a few of the treasured photos of Jim Swenson that are captured in Opening Doors.