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John George Diefenbaker

The Right Honourable John George Diefenbaker (September 18, 1895 - August 16, 1979) was the thirteenth Prime Minister of Canada.

He was born in Neustadt, Ontario, Canada.

Diefenbaker received a B.A. in 1915, an M.A. in Political Science and Economics in 1916 and his LL.B. in 1919 from the University of Saskatchewan[?].

In 1922, he was initiated into Wakaw masonic Lodge #166 in Wakaw, Saskatchewan.

He married Edna Brower (1901-1951) in 1929. He re-married to Olive Palmer (1902-1976) in 1953 who had a daughter from a previous marriage.

Diefenbaker served a brief stint in the army, acquiring the rank of Lieutenant in the 105th Saskatoon Fusiliers. He was called to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1919 and became a criminal lawyer. He worked in provincial politics as the leader of the Saskatchewan Conservative party from 1936-1938.

He led the national Progressive Conservative[?] party from 1956-1967 and became Prime Minister of Canada from 21 June 1957 - 22 April 1963.

He is well known for not getting along with John F. Kennedy, who thought Diefenbaker "boring". Diefenbaker's opinions on JFK were less refined, having been quoted as calling Kennedy "a boastful sonofabitch".

Diefenbaker made one of the most controversial decisions of the last century in Canada in 1959 when his government cancelled the development and manufacture of the Avro Arrow, a Mach 2 supersonic jet fighter built by A.V. Roe Canada (Avro), in Malton[?], Ontario, just west of Toronto. After cancelling the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world, the Canadian Government purchased the American made Bomarc[?] missile system which theoretically would help defend Canada in the event of a Russian nuclear bomber attack from the north. The Bomarc missile program became obsolete prior to its installation in Canada.

Diefenbaker died on August 16, 1979 in Ottawa, Ontario and is buried beside the Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre at the University of Saskatchewan[?] in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Preceded by:
Louis Saint Laurent
Prime Minister of Canada Followed by:
Lester Pearson



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