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Grafstein, Jerahmiel S.


GRAFSTEIN, JERAHMIEL S. (Jerry ; 1935– ), Canadian senator, lawyer, and businessman. Grafstein was born in London, Ontario, where his father, a Polish university-educated immigrant to Canada, was in business. Jerry Grafstein graduated with a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and a law degree from the University of Toronto Law School. In 1960 he was admitted to the Ontario Bar and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1973. He founded and edited the Journal of Liberal Thought in 1965–66. Drawn to politics he was a Liberal Party fundraiser and political adviser who worked on numerous Liberal political campaigns. A skilled policy adviser, he worked in several important government ministries, including the Departments of Transportation, External Affairs, and Justice. He also served as a senior adviser to former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and in 1984 Trudeau appointed him to the Senate of Canada. Grafstein became a partner in the Toronto law firm of Minden, Gross, Grafstein and Greenstein specializing in communications and administrative law. He was also a financier and patron of many arts and health organizations. Among his business interests, Grafstein was one of the founders of citytv in Toronto in 1972, chaired the boards of media corporations, such as cuc Broadcasting Ltd., city tv, and Muchmusic, and served on the boards of other corporations such as the World Film Festival of Toronto and the Toronto Arts Awards. He served as co-chair of the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group, the largest parliamentary group in Canada, and the Advisory Committee to the 1988 Toronto Economic Summit and as a member of the Executive of the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid Committee. He published articles, delivered lectures, made panel appearances, and led conferences in the areas of technology, television, cable, film, broadcasting, and corporate and international finance.

[Andrea Knight (2nd ed.)]

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