Jim Paratore died of an apparent heart attack while biking in France on Tuesday (May 29), according to a post on the website. He was 58 years old.
Paratore not only developed the celebrity news website, but was also a key player in the establishment of the TMZ on TV series. In addition, he served as an executive producer on Ellen and Lopez Tonight and was involved in developing The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. At the time of his death he was president of Telepictures, a division of Warner Bros.
A statement on TMZ described Paratore as "an amazingly creative guy... a great producer... [and] the best salesman in the world", adding: "Everyone at TMZ was touched by Jim's brilliance and the loss is great and painful."
Warner Bros television group chief Bruce Rosenblum praised Paratore for his contribution to the industry.
"He has left an indelible mark not only on our company's success but on each of us who worked with him during the past 26 years," Rosenblum said.
"Jim had a passion for life, both inside and outside the entertainment industry, and he will truly be missed," he continued. "All of us at Warner Bros. are shaken by this news, and our hearts go out to Jill and his family."