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Joseph James Guillaume Paul Martin,[1][2] PC CC QC (June 23, 1903 – September 14, 1992), often referred to as Paul Martin, Sr, was a noted Canadian politician and diplomat. He was the father of Paul Martin, who served as 21st Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006.

Paul Martin

12th Secretary of State for External Affairs
In office
April 22, 1963 – April 19, 1968
Prime MinisterLester Pearson
Preceded byHoward Charles Green
Succeeded byMitchell Sharp
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Essex East
In office
October 14, 1935 – April 19, 1968
Preceded byRaymond Morand
Succeeded byRiding abolished
Senator for Windsor-Walkerville, Ontario
In office
April 20, 1968 – October 30, 1974
Appointed byPierre Trudeau
Personal details
Joseph James Guillaume Paul Martin

(1903-06-23)June 23, 1903
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
DiedSeptember 14, 1992(1992-09-14) (aged 89)
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Eleanor Alice "Nelly" Adams (m. 1937)
Children2, including Paul Martin
Alma materUniversity of Toronto
Osgoode Hall Law School
Graduate Institute of International Studies
OccupationDiplomat, lecturer, barrister, lawyer


Early lifeEdit

Martin was born in Ottawa, Ontario, the son of Lumina (née Chouinard) and Joseph Philippe Ernest Martin.[1] His Irish Catholic paternal grandfather's family immigrated from County Mayo, and his mother and paternal grandmother were French Canadian with deep roots in the country.[1][3]

Martin contracted polio in 1907.[4] Martin was raised in Pembroke, Ontario, in the Ottawa River Valley, although he attended high school at Collège Saint-Alexandre in Gatineau, Quebec. He completed his university education at the University of Toronto, and earned his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Later, Martin studied at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, on a scholarship.

Martin later opened a law practice in Windsor, Ontario.



A member of the Liberal Party of Canada, he was first elected to the House of Commons in 1935 and entered the cabinet in 1945. He went on to serve as a noted member of the cabinets of four Prime Ministers: William Lyon Mackenzie King, Louis St. Laurent, Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau.

Martin was viewed as one of the most left-wing members of the Liberal cabinet, and as Minister of National Health and Welfare from 1946 to 1957 he played an important role in the fight against polio and overseeing the creation of hospital insurance in Canada, and is sometimes recognized as a father of medicare. Martin served as Secretary of State for External Affairs in the Pearson government, and was instrumental in the acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapons for Canadian Forces.[5]

Hon. Paul Martin (left) and Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King attending the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, 23 October 1946

Liberal leadership bidsEdit

He ran for the Liberal leadership three times, in 1948, in 1958 and 1968, but was defeated at all three Liberal leadership conventions, first by Louis St. Laurent, then by Lester B. Pearson, then by Pierre Trudeau.

Senator and beyondEdit

Trudeau appointed him to the Senate in 1968. He served as Leader of the Government in the Senate until 1974 when he was appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He also served as Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University from 1972–1977, as a result of which the university named the Paul Martin Centre in his honour. Until his death Paul Martin was an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Windsor.

His two volume memoirs, A Very Public Life, was published in 1983 (ISBN 0888790929) and 1986 (OCLC 165756245 A very public life: So many worlds Volume 2 of A very public life at Google Books).


In 1976 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. In recognition of his accomplishments, Martin was granted the right to use the honorific Right Honourable in 1992, a rare honour for one who has never been Prime Minister, Governor-General or Chief Justice of Canada.

The University of Windsor has a Paul Martin Chair in law and political science, recently held by former Manitoba Premier Howard Pawley (until his retirement from the university), and the Paul Martin Law Library. The City of Windsor had also renamed their "Post Office Building" the Paul Martin Sr. Building in his honour on November 18, 1994.

Honorary DegreesEdit

Electoral recordEdit

Essex East
Canadian federal election, 1935
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Paul 7,562 39.25 -4.31
Conservative MORAND, Hon. Raymond D. 6,493 33.71 -22.73
Co-operative Commonwealth LEVERT, Joseph Ben 4,106 21.32
Reconstruction MCPHARLIN, J. Gabriel 1,102 5.72
Total valid votes 19,263 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1940
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Paul 9,811 46.39 +7.14
National Government MORAND, Hon. Raymond D. 8,060 38.11 +4.40
Co-operative Commonwealth LEVERT, Joseph Ben 2,879 13.62 -7.70
     Canadian Labour HICKS, Roy Robert 398 1.88
Total valid votes 21,148 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1945
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Hon. Paul 16,165 56.21 +9.82
Progressive Conservative BYRNE, James E. 8,244 28.67 -9.44
Co-operative Commonwealth MACDONALD, William C. 4,349 15.12 +1.50
Total valid votes 28,758 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1949
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Hon. Paul 16,709 52.89 -3.32
Progressive Conservative TURNBULL, James Russell 8,204 25.97 -2.70
Co-operative Commonwealth RIGGS, William Charles 5,213 16.50 +1.38
Labor–Progressive PRINCE, Cyril 1,464 4.64
Total valid votes 31,590 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1953
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Hon. Paul 19,946 67.16 +14.27
Progressive Conservative KENNEDY, Aloysius 5,530 18.62 -7.35
Co-operative Commonwealth OWEN, Kenneth Edwin 3,013 10.14 -6.36
Labor–Progressive KENNEDY, Michael J. 1,212 4.08 -0.56
Total valid votes 29,701 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1957
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Hon. Paul 22,023 57.15 -10.01
Progressive Conservative HICKS, Roy R. 10,593 27.49 +8.87
Co-operative Commonwealth METEER, Jack 5,917 15.36 +5.22
Total valid votes 38,533 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1958
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Hon. Paul 18,074 41.98 -15.17
Progressive Conservative HICKS, Roy R. 16,451 38.21 +10.72
Co-operative Commonwealth BURR, Fred A. 8,530 19.81 +4.45
Total valid votes 43,055 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1962
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Hon. Paul 24,969 58.69 +16.71
New Democratic DRURY, George 8,888 20.89 +1.08
Progressive Conservative DEMERS, Roland Lionel 8,210 19.30 -18.91
Social Credit CORY, T.R. 476 1.12
Total valid votes 42,543 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1963
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Hon. Paul 25,727 59.82 +1.13
Progressive Conservative GOURLIE, David 8,894 20.68 +1.38
New Democratic MCCONVILLE, Hugh 7,648 17.78 -3.11
Social Credit GIGNAC, Frank 740 1.72 +0.60
Total valid votes 43,009 100.00
Canadian federal election, 1965
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal MARTIN, Hon. Paul 26,094 63.78 +3.96
Progressive Conservative GOURLIE, David 8,142 19.90 -0.78
New Democratic MCCONVILLE, Hugh 6,133 14.99 -2.79
Communist MAGNUSON, Bruce A.H. 543 1.33
Total valid votes 40,912 100.00

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Martin, Paul (1983). A Very Public Life: Far from home. Deneau. p. 2. ISBN 0-88879-092-9.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2019-02-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2009-11-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Disabled World[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Clearwater, J. "Canadian Nuclear Weapons.", Chapter 1. Dundurn Press, 1998.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^

Further readingEdit

  • Donaghy, Greg. Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr. (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2015). Pp. 480

External linksEdit