Stephen Lewis

  Male      Canadian      Politician

  Born : Nov 11, 1937  

About Author

Stephen Henry Lewis, CC (born November 11, 1937) is a Canadian politician, broadcaster and diplomat. He was the leader of the social democratic Ontario New Democratic Party for most of the 1970s.

During many of those years as leader, his father David Lewis was simultaneously the leader of the Federal New Democratic Party. After politics, he became a broadcaster on both CBC Radio and Toronto's Citytv. In the mid-1980s, he was appointed as Canada's United Nations ambassador, by Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He quit in 1988 and worked at various United Nations agencies during the 1990s. In the 2000s, he served a term as the United Nations' special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. In 2003, he gained investiture into the Order of Canada. As of 2014, he is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Stephen Lewis was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 11, 1937, to Sophie Lewis (née Carson) and David Lewis. His parents gave him the Hebrew name "Sholem", a Yiddish derivation of the Hebrew word shalom, which means peace, because he was born on Armistice Day. From the time he was born, and through his early childhood, his father was the National Secretary of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the predecessor party to the NDP. When his family moved to Toronto in 1950, he attended secondary school first at Toronto's Oakwood Collegiate, and then his final three years of high school at Harbord Collegiate Institute. In 1956, he entered the University of Toronto (UofT) where he became a member of the Hart House debating committee, and on 14 November 1957, debated Senator and future American President, John F. Kennedy on the question, "Has the United States failed in its responsibilities as a world leader?" The Senator narrowly beat the Hart House team 204-194. Lewis's performance was considered the highlight of the event, while Kennedy's was flat according to many members in the audience like John Brewin. He spent his third year of university at the University of British Columbia (UBC) before spending his final undergraduate year back at UofT where he failed to write his final examinations. He went to law school twice in the early 1960s, dropping out of both UofT and UBC's programs...

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