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Stanley Knowles

Born to Canadian parents in Los Angeles, California, Stanley Howard Knowles (1908–1997) was a clergyman and politician. He received his early education in Los Angeles, but returned to Canada in 1924. He was awarded a B.A. from Manitoba’s Brandon College in 1930 and a B.D. in Theology and Economics from the University of Manitoba in 1934. Personal tragedies — his mother’s death from tuberculosis in 1919 and his father’s loss of his job as a machinist in 1932 — led him first to a career as a United Church minister and then into politics. After unsuccessful campaigns for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in the federal elections of 1935 and 1940, he finally won J. S. Woodsworth’s old riding of Winnipeg North Centre in a 1942 by-election. Except for 1958, Knowles was consistently re-elected in his Winnipeg riding until he left politics in 1984. Throughout his parliamentary career, Knowles used his wit, his parliamentary skills and his knowledge of procedure to raise awareness of social injustice and to persuade the government to redress grievances through policy and legislation. His efforts to improve the lives of ordinary Canadians won him many honorary degrees and the respect of all his parliamentary colleagues.

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    Date Created: March 31, 2010 | Last Updated: April 21, 2010