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Memorable Manitobans: Lila Bell Acheson Wallace (1890-1984)


Born at Virden, the daughter of a Presybyterian minister, she was educated at the University of Oregon (graduated 1917) and then worked as a social worker in the United States. She married book salesman DeWitt Wallace in 1921, and the two founded the Reader’s Digest in 1922. She owned 48 per cent of the stock and was active in the editing for many years. She was a director of the New York Central Railroad from 1954 to 1959, the first woman to serve as a railway director in the United States. Her estate at her death was valued at half a billion dollars.


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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 25 December 2013

Memorable Manitobans

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