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
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
(1). Canadian & World Encyclopedia, 1998. McClelland
and Stewart Inc.
(2). Compton's Encyclopedia. 1990. New York Publishing
(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