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- Peter Mansbridge
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Peter Mansbridge was born in 1948 in London, England. In 1954 he and his family moved to Ottawa. Mansbridge attended Glebe Collegiate but dropped out, before completion. He joined the Canadian Navy, where he served for two years before being honorably discharged. By 1968, he had made his way to Churchill, Manitoba where he worked for the airline Transair, announcing arrivals and departures over the PA system. His unique baritone voice caught the attention of CBC Radio producer Gaston Charpentier, who subsequently got Mansbridge a job as a disc jockey. From here, Mansbridge began to make a name for himself in broadcast journalism and with CBC.
Mansbridge created, produced, and hosted CBC Churchill’s first local newscast. He also began to host popular interviews that stood apart from others due to his conversational style and notable voice. His work was well received, as it was regularly aired on CBC national newscasts. He then moved on to work at CBC Radio and Television in Winnipeg.
Success continued to follow Mansbridge. By 1975, he was the Saskatchewan correspondent for CBC’s The National. The next year, he became Ottawa’s parliamentary news reporter for CBC TV. By 1981, he began to host the weekend editions of The National and worked as a correspondent in Washington and London.
The longest and most acclaimed part of his career began in 1988 when he took over as lead anchor and correspondent of The National where he worked until 2017. During his career, he has reported on many events that have defined the late 20th century and early 21st both around the world and in Canada. Some of these include the ‘boat people’ escaping Vietnam (1979), the Tiananmen Square massacre (1989), the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), the Oka crisis (1990), the Charlottetown Accord (1992), the 1995 Québec Referendum, the 9/11 terrorist attacks (2001), the war in Afghanistan (starting in 2001), and the Canadian Parliament shooting (2014). He has also covered every Canadian federal election from 1972-2015. He has conducted many notable interviews, from Canadian Prime Ministers, to US Presidents (notably Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), and many other world leaders (Benjamin Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and the Aga Khan).
Mansbridge has had other journalistic endeavors during his career. He wrote for Maclean’s Magazine from 2003 to 2005. He hosted Mansbridge One on One, which was a weekly program on CBC Newsworld. He also collected and published some of these interviews in the book Peter Mansbridge One on One: Favourite Conversations and the Stories Behind Them (2010). After his time at The National, he continued to work, hosting the television documentaries That Never Happened: Canada’s First National Internment Operations (2017), In Search of a Perfect World (2018), and The Future of War with Peter Mansbridge (2019).
Outisde of journalism, he has served as chancellor of Mount Allison University from 2010-2017, and voiced the character Peter Moosebridge in the Disney animated film Zootopia (2016).
Mansbridge is well decorated for his work in journalism. He has won twelve Gemini Awards for broadcast excellence, including the Gordon Sinclair Award for best overall broadcast journalist in 1990 and 1998. He has also won two Canadian Screen Awards, was made an Officer in the Order of Canada (2008), and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). He has also been the recipient of eleven Honorary Degrees from Universities across Canada.
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Created July 30, 2019 by Elizabeth Carroll.
Historica Canada. “Peter Mansbridge, OC.” Board of Directors. Accessed July 30, 2019. https://www.historicacanada.ca/content/peter-mansbridge-oc
Jackson, Kip. Patrick Mullen. “Peter Mansbridge.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Last updated July 4, 2019. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/peter-mansbridge
Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. “Peter Mansbridge: Distinguished Fellow.” Accessed July 30, 2019. https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/profile/mansbridge-peter/