Memorable Manitobans: Peter Duncan Curry (1912-1996)
Born at Copenhagen, Denmark on 12 July 1912, son of Duncan Curry and Bertha Laxdal, he came to Canada at an early age and was educated at Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario and attended Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec (1931-1934) on a football and basketball scholarship.
He came to Winnipeg in 1934 to sell real estate and play football for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In the 1950s he headed his own investment dealership, Peter D. Curry and Company Limited. He rose to become one of Canada’s most powerful businessmen as President then Deputy Chairman of Power Corporation of Montreal, and Chairman of Investors Group, Great West Life Assurance Company, Greater Winnipeg Gas Company, and Cablecasting Limited. He was a director of Investors Mutual of Canada, Molson Breweries, and the Greater Winnipeg Gas Company.
On 27 December 1937, he married Constance Noreen Murphy and they had four children. He was President of the Winnipeg Stock Exchange and a board member of the Winnipeg General Hospital, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. He owned the original Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team and was an Honorary Life Member of the Manitoba Club. In 1950 he was elected to the Winnipeg School Board and was named its Chairman two years later.
He joined the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba in 1956 and later served as its Chairman (1964-1968). He served as Chancellor of the University of Manitoba from 1968 to 1974. He was awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba (1963) and Bishop’s University (1988). He helped to establish a goose sanctuary on 4,000 hectares of land at Oak Point in 1951, and was a trustee of the North American Wildlife Foundation, becoming the first Canadian to be elected President of the Foundation (1981).
He died at Montreal, Quebec on 25 April 1996.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Peter D. Curry Conservation Project,” Bishop’s University News Release.
“Former chancellor dies in Montreal,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 April 1996, page A9.
“Visionary made city better place,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 June 1996, page B14.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 30 April 1996, page C6.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 22 May 2022