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Pierre (Francis Demarigny) Berton (1920-2004) Biography

(Lisa Kroniuk)

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for SATA sketch: Born July 12, 1920, in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada; died of heart failure November 30, 2004, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Journalist, editor, broadcaster, and author. Berton enjoyed a varied career as a magazine editor, television panelist, and author of books—often on history—for both adults and children. Graduating from the University of British Columbia with a B.A. in 1941, he worked briefly for the Vancouver News Herald before World War II, when he enlisted in the Canadian Army. After World War II ended, he returned to journalism, working for the Vancouver Sun for a year before joining the staff at Maclean's magazine, where he served in various editorial positions until 1958. With a growing family to support, Berton pursued careers as an author and television host to earn additional income. He hosted the Pierre Berton Show from 1957 until 1973 and was best remembered as a panelist on the Canadian game show Front Page Challenge, where he appeared for thirty-seven years, beginning in 1957. He also hosted Heritage Theatre from 1947 to 1958. Berton found success, too, as a prolific author of history books for adult and young readers. Among these are such award-winning books as The Mysterious North (1956), The Klondike Fever (1958), the two-volume The Great Railway (1970, 1971), and The Invasion of Canada, 1812-1813 (1977). A number of his books were adapted to television. One of these, The Secret World of Og (1961), was a children's book. Other notable books by Berton include The Dionne Years: A Thirties Melodrama (1977), The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the North West Passage and the North Pole, 1818-1909 (1988), and the autobiography My Times: Living with History, 1947-1995 (1995)



Berton, Pierre, My Times: Living with History, 1947-1995, Doubleday Canada, 1995.


New York Times, December 3, 2004, p. A21.

Washington Post, December 8, 2004, p. B6.

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