Croll, David Arnold

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CROLL, DAVID ARNOLD (1900–1991), Canadian lawyer and politician. Born in Mogilev, Belorussia, Croll was taken to Windsor, Ontario, at the age of three. He practiced law in Windsor from 1925 to 1930 when he was elected mayor of the city. In this office, he earned a reputation for helping the unemployed and homeless; he also successfully led the drive for the amalgamation of several municipalities into one city. In 1934 Croll entered the Ontario Legislature as Liberal member for Walkerville and was appointed to hold three cabinet portfolios in the Mitchell Hepburn government: minister of labor, public welfare, and municipal affairs. He resigned from the cabinet in April 1937 in protest against the Hepburn government's refusal to recognize the Oshawa automobile workers union, then on strike against General Motors. He was quoted as saying, "I'd rather walk with the strikers than ride with Mitch Hepburn." Immediately after the outbreak of World War ii, Croll volunteered with the Essex Scots regiment of the Canadian Army and, while serving in Europe, rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Also while in the military, he wrote a handbook on despatch riding. In 1945 he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons for the Toronto riding of Spadina, then at the heart of Toronto's downtown, Yiddish-speaking Jewish community. In 1955 Croll became the first Jews ever appointed to the Senate of Canada. He served on the Canadian delegation to the United Nations at the time of the Suez crisis in 1956. A familiar figure in Canadian Jewish life, Croll was an enthusiastic supporter of the State of Israel, the Histradrut, and the Israel labor movement.

[Ben Kayfetz /

Gerald Tulchinsky (2nd ed.)]