Broadfoot, Barry 1926-2003

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BROADFOOT, Barry 1926-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born January 21, 1926, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; died November 28, 2003, in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Journalist, oral historian, and author. Broadfoot was a best-selling author of books about the history of Canada, which he compiled by interviewing ordinary people who had experienced events firsthand. After serving in the Canadian Infantry Corps during World War II, he graduated in 1949 with a bachelor's degree from the University of Manitoba. Broadfoot's first job as a journalist came in 1955 with the Winnipeg Tribune. He would spend the next years working for the Vancouver Sun, until he quit in 1972 after becoming irritated by office bureaucracy. Always interested in oral history, he decided that history was too often told from the point of view of politicians, generals, and industrialists; he set out to capture the stories of ordinary people, recording their stories about such time periods as World War II and the Great Depression. The first of these books was Ten Lost Years, 1929-1939: Memories of Canadians Who Survived the Depression (1973). This was followed by eight other titles, including The Pioneer Years, 1895-1914: Memories of Settlers Who Opened the West (1976), The Veterans' Years: Coming Home from the War (1985), and Ordinary Russians (1989). Broadfoot's books became best-sellers, and for his contributions to the study of Canadian history he was presented with an honorary degree and a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater, as well as the Order of Canada in 1997. In 2000, he and his wife also established a journalism endowment at Malaspina University-College in their adopted hometown, Nanaimo.



Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), December 2, 2003.

Los Angeles Times, December 2, 2003, p. B11.


CBC News, (December 1, 2003).

Evalu8, (December 1, 2003).

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Broadfoot, Barry 1926-2003

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