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Memorable Manitobans: Norman John “Norm” MacMillan (1909-1978)

Business executive.

Born at Bracebridge, Ontario in 1909, son of John M. MacMillan, he came to Winnipeg with his family in 1916. He attended the Manitoba Law School and articled with the law firm of Guy Chappell and Company. In 1937, he joined the legal department of the Canadian National Railway. He rose through the ranks, transferring to Montreal in 1943, where he was seconded to the federal government for administration of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Returning to the railway after the Second World War, he served successively as General Counsel (1945-1956), Executive Vice-President (1956-1967), and Chairman and President (1967-1974). He was made a Queen’s Counsel (1955). In 1967, he was given an honorary doctorate by the University of Manitoba. In May 1974, he retired from the railway and was made an Officer in the Order of Canada. On 28 August 1937, he married Doris Maude Horne at Winnipeg. He died at Bracebridge, Ontario on 30 October 1978.


“Doris Horne and Norman J. MacMillan exchange vows at St. Paul’s, Fort Garry,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 August 1937, page 7.

“John Malcolm MacMillan,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 November 1944, page 4.

“Prominent Conservative heads QC list,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 December 1954, page 7.

“MacMillan retires as boss of ‘biggest and best’ railway,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 May 1974, page 31.

“Former CN head dies,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 October 1978, page 13.

We thank James Arnett for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 July 2019

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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

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