Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Grant Dexter (1896-1961)

Journalist.

Born in St. Andrews on 3 February 1896, son of lawyer Henry Joseph Dexter and Mary Elizabeth Fraser, his family moved to Hamilton, Ontario where his father died. They returned to Winnipeg and he lived briefly with an uncle on a farm near Selkirk before attending high school for a year at Brandon College. He then worked for a mortage company.

He joined the Manitoba Free Press in 1912 and served in Lord Strathcona’s Horse from 1915 until he was invalided to England in 1917. He was an emphatic Liberal, completely loyal to the party. For many years (1923-1944) he was parliamentary reporter in Ottawa for John Dafoe’s Free Press. During the Second World War, he served as a private conduit for the government to Dafoe. He served as Associate Editor of the Free Press then as Editor (1946-1954). In 1946, he received the Marie Moors Cabot Medal for journalism, the first Canadian so honoured.

In 1924, he married Alice Winnifred Hunter (1903-1987) of Winnipeg and they had a son and two daughters.

Dexter died at Ottawa, Ontario on 12 December 1961. He is commemorated by Dexter Street in Winnipeg. Some papers are at the Archives of Manitoba.

See also:

Ottawa at War: The Grant Dexter Memoranda, 1939-1945
edited and introduced by Frederick W. Gibson and Barbara Robertson, Manitoba Record Society, 1994.

“A Gentleman of the Fourth Estate,” by Alan Levine, The Beaver 72, no. 6 (1992/1993): 17-23.

Sources:

Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Grant Dexter dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 13 December 1961, page 1.

Obituary [Alice Dexter], Winnipeg Free Press, 26 May 1987, page 39.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 December 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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