Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Harold Johnston Brodie (1907-1989)

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Harold Johnston Brodie
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Born at Winnipeg on 3 December 1907, son of Thomas Day Brodie (1869-1943) and Rebecca Jane Johnston (1872-1938), he received BSc (1929) and MSc (1930) degrees from the University of Manitoba, completing the latter under the supervision of Reginald Buller. He then went to the University of Michigan, spending a year in Belgium, and receiving a PhD degree from Michigan (1934). He worked at the University of Toronto (1934-1935), Macdonald College (1935-1937), University of Manitoba (1937-1946), and University of Indiana at Bloomington (1946-1957). In 1957, he was hired to be Department Head of Botany at the University of Alberta, holding the position until retirement in 1969. He was a specialist on bird’s nest fungi, summarized in his book The Bird’s Nest Fungi (University of Toronto Press, 1975). He also wrote Fungi, Delight of Curiosity (University of Toronto Press, 1978). In recognition of his research contributions, he received a Guggenheim fellowship (1952) and a Canadian Centennial Medal (1967). He was a member of the Scientific Club of Winnipeg. In March 1934, he married concert pianist Helen Williams (?-1964) and they had a daughter Anne Brodie (wife of ? Lyon). In 1970, he married Mary Unrau (?-?) and they moved to Victoria, British Columbia in 1972. They moved to Ottawa, Ontario in 1981 where he died on 23 March 1989 and was buried in the Mount Pleasant Municipal Cemetery at Edmonton, Alberta.


Birth and marriage registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Obituary [Rebecca Jane Brodie], Winnipeg Tribune, 3 January 1938, page 8.

“Thomas Brodie, grain man, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 December 1943, page 5.

“Harold Johnston Brodie,” Mycologia, Vol. 81, No. 6 (Nov-Dec 1989), pages 832-836.

Harold Johnston Brodie, Find-A-Grave.

This page was prepared by Charles Bird and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 May 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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