Freedman, Samuel

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FREEDMAN, SAMUEL (1908–1993), Canadian lawyer, community leader, chief justice of Manitoba. To a student who asked Samuel Freedman whether he should be addressed as "milord" or "Mr. Justice," Freedman replied: "Call me Sam." Sam Freedman was born in the Ukraine, the fifth of seven children. At age three he came to Canada with his family, settling in Winnipeg's immigrant North End. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with honors in classics in 1929 and went on to law school, where he became an accomplished debater. He graduated in 1933 and entered law practice, served four years as editor of the Manitoba Bar News, and was president of the Manitoba Bar Association in 1951–52. He was named to the Manitoba Court of Queens Bench in 1952; in 1954–55 he headed a commission investigating railroad labor problems; during 1959–68 he served as chancellor of the University of Manitoba. In 1960 Freedman was elevated to the Court of Appeal and in 1971 was appointed chief justice of Manitoba, a position he held until 1993. On his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984, the governor general of Canada cited his "discriminating mind and glowing humanity [as resulting] in brilliant legal judgements…."

Freedman was also much involved in the community. During his student years he was active in the Menorah Society and later in the ymha and B'nai B'rith. A founder of the Winnipeg Chapter of the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University, he served as a member of the organization's national board of governors. During 1955–58 he was division co-chair of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews and in 1957–58 was campaign chairman for the Manitoba Heart Foundation. He was in great demand as a public speaker in Winnipeg and other centers in Canada and the United States.

His son Martin Freedman sat as a member of the Manitoba Court of Appeal in the seat once occupied by his father.

[Abraham Arnold (2nd ed.)]

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Freedman, Samuel

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