Pierre Elliot Trudeau



Political Reformer

Social Life

Political Life

Political Relations



All Saints All Grade


Social Life

Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliot Trudeau was born in Montreal on October 18, 1919.
Trudeau grew up in Montreal where he attended a Jesuit college, Jean-de-Brebeauf. He receive a law degree from the University of Montreal. In 1943 while at the University of Montreal he enlisted in the Canadian Officer Training Corps. He later completed his training with an army reserve unit.

In 1945 Trudeau earned a Master's degree in Political Economy at Harvard University. He than studied at the school of Political Sciences in Paris, at London School of Economics and Political Science in Britain.

Before his first term as Prime Minister, Trudeau has worked as a lawyer and law professor and had only three years of experience in public office.
Trudeau's social life has made him famous. He often wore colorful clothes, drove fast cars; and enjoyed skiing, skin diving, and canoeing. Even as Prime Minister his personal life generated interest in 1971. He surprised the nation by marrying Margaret Sinclair the daughter of a former member of parliament.
The Trudeau's had three children Justin, was born in 1971, Alexandre was born in 1973, and Michel was born in 1975.

In 1977 Trudeau and his wife separated and Trudeau receive custody of the three children. The couple divorced in 1984. Also, Trudeau has a nine year old daughter named Sarah, which was the result of a one night stand in St. Johns.
The sixties was a time for youth. Canadians were tired of the same old faces in politics. They wanted someone new. It was in this atmosphere of change and rebellion that Pierre Trudeau became leader of the Liberal party and Prime Minister in 1968.
Trudeau seemed to be the man of the hour. He was a bilingual Quebecker. Many felt he would be able to address Quebec's concerns. He was youthful, casual, and stylish. As Minister of Justice, Trudeau had convinced people he was cool under pressure, logical, and scholarly. Above all on television, he showed wit and confidence. His charisma on television and at huge political rallies made him exceptionally popular. Wherever Trudeau appeared to give a speech it was like a rock concert, young Liberals screamed themselves hoarse and the crowds swarmed around their hero.
During the 1968 election campaign Trudeau spoke french from Victoria to St. Johns. Every speech had some paragraphs in French and English. Audiences cheered even though they didn't understand the language.

Trudeau adopted a whole new campaign style. He arrived in many cities by jet and then descended into a suburban shopping center parking lot by helicopter. He mingled with the crowd shaking hands and excepted kisses from admirers. Trudeau talked to the crowds about building a just society in which all Canadians were respected and shared in the country's prosperity. Hecklers were put down easily with quick witted replies. He ended by challenging Canadians to take a chance on the future and vote for the Liberals. Smiling for the cameras he then tossed a flower from his buttonhole to the crowd. He then stepped back into the helicopter and was whisked away to his next rally. The crowds loved him, the press called it Trudeaumania. The major appeal of Trudeau in 1968 seemed to be that he offered Canadians new hope for a fresh beginning.
Trudeau had spent his political career in strengthening Canadian unity and federalism. He also campaigned for world peace and worked to improve the relationships between the industrialized nations and the third world countries. He retired from politics in 1984 and returned to practicing law. He devoted his time to writing his memoirs.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau wasn't old for very long, following the unfortunate death of his youngest son Michel in an avalanche while skiing. The once spry and full-of-life 80 year old Trudeau suddenly became very old virtually overnight. Stricken with Parkinson disease and prostate cancer, Trudeau died in his sleep in the month of September in the year of 2000; surrounded by his family just three weeks short of his 81st birthday. For the first time since John Diefenbaker, a Canadian Prime Minister lay in state on parliament hill.


(1). Canadian & World Encyclopedia, 1998. McClelland and Stewart Inc.
(2). Compton's Encyclopedia. 1990. New York Publishing Company Inc.
(3). Internet File: www.therighthonourablepierreelliottrudeau.com
(4). Internet File: ///A/trudeau3.htm. 11/14/00 10:33 AM
(5). Spotlight Canada, Oxford University Press. Toronto 1996. Copyrig

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