Joseph Segal was born in Vegreville, Alberta in 1925. He served overseas with the Calgary Highlanders during World War II. He is a member of the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, the Order of St. John, as well as a recipient of the Freedom of the City of Vancouver and has an honourary Doctorate of Law from SFU.
Mr. Segal settled in Vancouver in 1946, and a few years later founded Fields Stores. In 1976 Fields acquired Zellers, and Mr. Segal became Chairman and controlling shareholder. After Zellers was purchased by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1979, he formed Kingswood Capital Corporation. Kingswood has extensive real estate developments and investments in BC, Alberta & Washington.
In 1988, Mr. Segal led the 150 million dollar acquisition of the extensive property portfolio of Block Bros Realty. Kingswood also is active in private equity investing in manufacturing (in various industries) and retail companies.
Mr. Segal served on the board of Simon Fraser University for twelve years, acting as Chancellor for six. He helped establish the SFU Harbour Centre campus and the SFU Wosk Centre for Dialogue. In 2005 the SFU Segal Graduate School of Business opened in a building donated by the Segal family.
Mr. Segal has been a member of many charitable and business boards. In 2005 both he and his wife were honoured with the Variety Club’s highest honor, the International Humanitarian Award.