He was married in 1963 to Geills McCrae Kilgour (b. 1937) and had one daughter and three sons.
He practiced law in Toronto, Ontario and was elected as a member of Parliament in 1962 and served in the Cabinet until his leaving political life in 1976. On the resignation of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau in 1984, John Turner re-entered politics and was elected leader of his party and Prime Minister of Canada.
John Turner only served as Prime Minister of Canada for a few months. He was defeated by Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative Party in the 1984 federal election. He would remain leader of the opposition, losing to Mulroney again in the election of 1988, until stepping down permanently in 1990.
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