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Memorable Manitobans: Norman Garrod “Norm” Larsen (1935-2017)

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Norm Larsen
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Lawyer, civil servant, historian.

Born at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on 4 April 1935, the youngest of three children of Ida Riise Larsen and Sigurd Alvin Larsen, an immigrant from Norway who made a good living through the Great Depression as a musician. Ida often said that times were tough but everyone had a nickel for the Saturday night dance.

Norm came to Winnipeg at the age of 10 and attended Hugh John Macdonald Junior High School and Daniel McIntyre Collegiate while living with his mother and step-father upstairs in a rooming house at 749 Winnipeg Avenue (1945-1952). He received a BA degree from United College (1956), taught history at St. James Collegiate (1962-1966), and received a law degree from the University of Manitoba (1968). He articled with Joe Zuken and practiced law with Zuken and Roland Penner (1968-1972). The firm became Zuken, Penner & Larsen from the day he was called to the Manitoba Bar (1969).

In 1972, he was the first staff lawyer hired by the newly established Legal Aid Manitoba, starting as the Senior Attorney at the first Neighbourhood Law Centre at 95 Isabel Street, and held several other positions, ending as Executive Director (1977-1979). He attended Harvard University and received a Master of Laws (1980). After positions in the provincial government, the Law Society of Manitoba, and the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, he spent his last 13 years in practice (1987-2000) as a legislative drafter with the Office of Legislative Counsel in the Department of Justice (Manitoba).

In retirement, he conducted seminars on funeral planning (2000-2005) and published three books on the legal history of Manitoba: Tales From the Underworld and Other Stories (with Roland Penner, 2009), Notable Trials from Manitoba’s Legal History (2015), and Notable People from Manitoba’s Legal History (2016).

He died at Winnipeg on 26 April 2017.


New Legal Aid Board appointed,” Manitoba News Service, 19 March 1982.

Legal Aid Society appointments made,” Manitoba News Service, 25 March 1983.

Tanner Elton is named Deputy Attorney General,” Manitoba News Service, 8 June 1984.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 29 April 2017.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Norm Larsen.

Page revised: 29 April 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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