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Memorable Manitobans: John Walter Grant MacEwan (1902-2000)

Farmer, educator, politician, author.

Born at Brandon on 12 August 1902, son of Alexander MacEwen and Bertha Grant, the family moved to a farm near Melfort, Saskatchewan when he was 13 years old. He attended the Ontario Agricultural College at Guelph from 1921 to 1926, then took a MSc degree from the University of Iowa (1927-1928). From 1928 to 1946, he was Professor of Animal Husbandry at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. In 1946, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Manitoba, serving until 1952. While in Winnipeg, his first book of history, The Sodbusters, was published. In 1951, he bid for a seat in the House of Commons, representing the Brandon constituency, but was defeated easily by Walter Dinsdale. He moved to Calgary, Alberta where, in 1955, he won a seat in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. From 1958 to 1960, he was the leader of the Alberta Liberal Party. He served as Mayor of Calgary (1963-1965) then Lieutenant Governor of Alberta (1966-1974). Following his retirement from political life, he concentrated on writing and would eventually produce some 37 books. In 1969, he was given an honorary doctorate by Brandon College and was inducted into the Order of Canada (1974). He died on 15 June 2000.

His articles for the Manitoba Historical Society:

“Honourable John”
Manitoba Pageant, Volume 5, Number 3, April 1960


“Grant MacEwan Dean of Agriculture at U,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 August 1946, page 3.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 December 2013

Memorable Manitobans

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

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