Born Joseph Roberts on December 24 in Gambo, Newfoundland, the eldest of 13 children.
Abandons school to become a journalist.
Moves to New York where he works as a journalist
and supports the socialist movement
Marries Clara Oates, with whom he has
Returns to Newfoundland, establishes a
newspaper in Corner Brook and begins
a life of political activism.
Works as a union activist.
Publishes the two-volume Book of Newfoundland
and launches a weekly radio broadcast,
“The Barrelman”, that runs for six years.
Participates as pro-Confederation delegate to
the National Convention, where the future of
Newfoundland is debated.
Is appointed first premier in the provisional
government of the new province.
Retires after 22 years in power.
Dies on December 17 in St. John’s.