Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 140 years

 

Pay & Donate in the MHS Online Shop

Manitoba History No. 88
Manitoba
History

No. 88

Lieutenant Governor's History Award
Lieutenant
Governor's
History
Award

MHS Fundraising Dinner
MHS
Fundraising
Dinner

War Memorials in Manitoba
War
Memorials
in Manitoba

This Old Elevator
This Old
Elevator

Abandoned Manitoba
Abandoned
Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans
Memorable
Manitobans

Historic Sites of Manitoba
Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: Samuel Bronfman (1889-1971)

Businessman, philanthropist.

Born in Russia on 1 March 1889, son of Mindel and Ekiel Bronfman, brother of Rose Rady, he emigrated with his family to Wapella, Saskatchewan, soon moving to Brandon where his brother Allan Bronfman was born. He later moved to Port Arthur [now Thunder Bay], Ontario where, in partnership with a brother, he bought a hotel established there by Frank Mariaggi.

In 1912, he bought the Bell Hotel at Winnipeg and operated it successfully for five years. He got into the liquor business when he started selling it by mail order, a common practice in the early 20th century. He moved to Montreal, Quebec in 1924 where he established the Distillers Corporation. After his purchase of Joseph E. Seagram and Sons Limited, the firm became the Seagram Company, eventually becoming the world’s largest liquor distilling firm that owned 38 distilleries in 13 countries, as well as interests in wineries in France and elsewhere. He served as its President for 47 years.

On 20 June 1922, he married Saidye Rosner, daughter of Samuel Rosner, at Winnipeg. They had four children: sons Edgar Bronfman and Charles Bronfman, and daughters Minda Bronfman and Phyllis Bronfman.

He served as President of the Canadian Jewish Congress from 1938 to 1962 and was Honorary Vice-President of the World Jewish Congress at the time of his death. During the Second World War, he was a member of the war technical board of the National Research Council. He also served on the Boards of the Canadian Association for Latin America, Quebec Heart Association, Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Montreal.

Active in philanthropy, he supported agricultural research and establishing arts centres and museums in Canada, the USA, and Israel. In recognition for his community works, he was inducted into the Order of Canada (1967) and the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt (1968), and he received an honorary doctorate from Brandon University (1969).

He died at Montreal on 10 July 1971.

Sources:

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Three Winnipeg hotels are sold,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 July 1912, page 28.

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Distillery magnate dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 July 1971, page 1.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 18 June 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Search the collection by word or phrase, name, place, occupation or other text:

Custom Search

Browse surnames beginning with:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z | 2017


Send corrections and additions to the Memorable Manitobans Administrator at biographies@mhs.mb.ca

Criteria for Memorable Manitobans | Suggest a Memorable Manitoban  | Our Inspiration | Acknowledgements

Support the MHS and

Back to top of page

   


To report an error on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations Policy

© 1998-2019 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.