Title: John Diefenbaker fonds. -- 1958. -- 1 cm of textual material; 1 audio reel

Biographical Sketch: John George Diefenbaker was born on September 18, 1895 in the village of Neustadt, Grey County, Ontario. He was the son of William Thomas Diefenbaker, a schoolmaster and civil servant, and Mary Florence Bannerman. The family moved to Saskatchewan in 1903. Diefenbaker received a BA in 1915, MA in 1916, and LLB in 1919 from the University of Saskatchewan. In 1929, he married Edna May Brower who died in 1951. He then remarried in 1953 to Olive E. (Freeman) Palmer.

Diefenbaker served as Saskatchewan Conservative leader between 1936 and 1940, when he found himself drafted as the local federal candidate for the riding of Lake Centre. Elected to the House of Commons, he held the riding at subsequent elections with increasing majorities until it was merged with Moose Jaw. In the general election of 1953 he astounded observers by winning the Liberal stronghold of Prince Albert. In the House he distinguished himself as an orator and served as chairman of the Party's Foreign Affairs Committee and as chief opposition spokesman on external relations. In 1957, Diefenbaker became the first Conservative prime minister of Canada in 22 years. One year later, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick. In 1963, Diefenbaker resigned as prime minister of Canada and became Leader of the Opposition. In 1967, Diefenbaker resigned as party leader. Diefenbaker became Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan in 1969, at which post he served until his death. John Diefenbaker died on August 16, 1979 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Source: Canadiana Encyclopedia (1965).

Scope and Content: This fonds includes a letter dated October 10, 1958 to Lord Beaverbrook from Diefenbaker, thanking him for his hospitality while he was at the University of New Brunswick receiving his honorary degree. It also includes a manuscript and a tape recording of Diefenbaker's convocation address on October 9, 1958.


Title: Title based on name of creator.

Access: Unrestricted.

Document Maintained by:
UNB Archives
email address archives@unb.ca
Last Update: 2003/04/24