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Samuel Laird Galbraith (18 October 1945 – 18 August 2014) was a Scottish Labour Party politician who had previously been a neurosurgeon of international repute. He served as a Member of Parliament and a Member of the Scottish Parliament.

Sam Galbraith
Member of the Scottish Parliament
for Strathkelvin and Bearsden
In office
6 May 1999 – 20 March 2001
Preceded byNew Parliament
Succeeded byBrian Fitzpatrick
Member of the UK Parliament
for Strathkelvin and Bearsden
In office
11 June 1987 – 14 May 2001
Preceded byMichael Hirst
Succeeded byJohn Lyons
Personal details
Born18 October 1945
Clitheroe, Lancashire
Died18 August 2014 (aged 68)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Political partyLabour

Early lifeEdit

Galbraith was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire. He was educated at Greenock High School. He studied at Glasgow University, where he received honours in medicine. Galbraith was a respected neurosurgeon, whose skills saved many lives at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital.

Political careerEdit

At the 1987 general election, he was returned as Member of Parliament for the Strathkelvin and Bearsden constituency,[1] and held the seat until standing down at the 2001 general election. He was a Scottish Office Minister between 1997 and 1999.[2]

Galbraith served as Minister for Children and Education in the Scottish Executive under Donald Dewar from 1999 to 2000 and then as Minister for Environment, Sport and Culture. On 20 March 2001 he announced his resignation from ministerial office and his parliamentary seats for health reasons.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

He was married, the father of three daughters. In prior years he was an avid mountaineer who had climbed all the Munros and also climbed in the Alps and Himalayas.

Galbraith received a lung transplant in 1990, at Freeman's Hospital Newcastle (where he continued to receive treatment), due to fibrosing alveolitis[4] (the same condition which took the life of a sister).

From 2006 he was chairman of the Scottish Maritime Museum with facilities at Irvine, North Ayrshire and Dumbarton.[5]

He died on 18 August 2014.[6]


  1. ^ "Resignation calls fall on deaf ears". BBC News. 14 August 2000. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Sam Galbraith: Electoral history and profile". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  3. ^ MacLeod, Catherine (20 March 2001). "Galbraith resigns today". The Herald (Glasgow). Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  4. ^ Martin, Lorna (17 March 2007). "I was meant to die. I didn't". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  5. ^ North Ayrshire Council Committee reports and agenda retrieved 22 July 2013.
  6. ^ Black, Andrew (18 August 2014). "Tributes paid to former Scottish minister Sam Galbraith who has died". BBC News. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Hirst
Member of Parliament for Strathkelvin and Bearsden
Succeeded by
John Lyons
Scottish Parliament
Preceded by
(new post)
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Strathkelvin and Bearsden
Succeeded by
Brian Fitzpatrick
Preceded by
Office created
Minister for the Environment, Sport and Culture
Succeeded by
Office abolished
Preceded by
Office created
Minister for Children and Education
Succeeded by
Jack McConnell