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The Honourable J.W. Grant MacEwan, 1966-74

The Hon. J.W. Grant MacEwan

As well as having been Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta, The Honourable J.W. Grant MacEwan is well-known as an agriculturalist and historian. He was also active in municipal and provincial politics.

John Walter Grant MacEwan was born on August 12, 1902, on a farm near Brandon, Manitoba. He is the son of Alexander H. MacEwan and Bertha Grant. J.W. Grant MacEwan attended public school in Brandon, Manitoba, and Melfort, Saskatchewan. He studied at the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph, received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from the University of Toronto in 1926, and in 1928, received a Master of Science degree from Iowa State College. 

On July 26, 1935, J.W. Grant MacEwan married Phyllis W. Cline, daughter of Vernon Cline of Churchbridge, Saskatchewan. Mrs. MacEwan died on October 12, 1990. J.W. Grant MacEwan has one daughter, Heather, from this marriage. From 1928 to 1946, J.W. Grant MacEwan was Professor of Animal Husbandry and Director of the School of Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. 

The Hon. J.W. Gant MacEwan From 1946 to 1951, he was Dean of Agriculture and Home Economics at the University of Manitoba. During his career as an agriculturalist, he was Associate Editor of the Canadian Cattleman, Agricultural Editor of The Western Producer, and a contributor to the Farm and Ranch Review. Since 1936, he has written a large number of books that deal primarily with agriculture and western Canadian history. He is the author of Breeds of Farm Livestock in Canada (1941), Sodbusters (1948), Between the Red and the Rockies (1952), Eye Opener Bob: The Story of Bob Edwards (1957), John Ware's Cow Country (1960), Hoofprints and Hitchingposts (1964), Poking into Politics (1966), Tantanga Mani: Walking Buffalo of the Stonies (1969), Power for Prairie Plows (1971), Sitting Bull: The Years in Canada (1973), Cornerstone Colony: Selkirk's Contribution to the Canadian West (1977), Grant MacEwan's Illustrated History of Western Canadian Agriculture (1980) Frederick Haultain: Frontier Statesman of the Canadian Northwest (1985), Grant MacEwan's Journals (1986), Grant MacEwan's West: Sketches from the Past (1990), and many others.

In 1951, J.W. Grant MacEwan was an unsuccessful candidate at the federal byelection for the Brandon electoral district. He was a Calgary Alderman from 1953 to 1958 and served as Mayor of the same city from 1963 to 1965. He was elected the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the multi-Member electoral district of Calgary in 1955, was appointed Leader of the Liberal Party of Alberta in 1958, and resigned from this position in 1960, following that party's defeat in the 1959 election. On the advice of Prime Minister Lester B. Grant MacEwan being appointed Lieutenant-Governor Pearson, J.W. Grant MacEwan was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta effective January 6, 1966. This appointment was made by General Georges-Phileas Vanier, Governor General of Canada. He was reappointed for a second term and continued to serve as Lieutenant-Governor until his successor was appointed effective July 2, 1974. During his service as Lieutenant-Governor, J.W. Grant MacEwan's Secretaries were Captain Gordon A. Johnston and M. Patricia Halligan. J.W. Grant MacEwan served as Chairman of the Calgary Community Foundation and President of the Men's Canadian Club of Calgary. 

In 1976, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Alberta The Hon. J.W. Grant MacEwanHistorical Resources Foundation and was named Chairman of the Board in 1978. J.W. Grant MacEwan has received Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the Universities of Alberta (1966), Calgary (1967), Brandon (1969), Guelph (1972), and Saskatchewan (1974); was awarded the Order of Canada (1975); was the recipient of the Governor General's Conservation Award (1985); and was the first person to receive the Premier's Award For Excellence (1985). An Edmonton community college and an elementary school in Calgary are named in his honor. 

J.W. Grant MacEwan died on June 15, 2000 at Calgary, Alberta.  He received a state funeral at Robertson- Wesley United Church in Edmonton, Alberta on June 20, 2000 and was buried in the Union Cemetery in Calgary.



Reprinted from the Lieutenant Governors of the North-West Territories and Alberta, 1876-1993 with the kind permission of the Legislative Assembly Office.

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