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Herbert Marshall McLuhan was born in Edmonton, Alberta on 21 July 1911 to Herbert Ernest McLuhan, a salesman, and Elsie Naomi (Hall) McLuhan, an actress and monologist. The family moved to Winnipeg, where McLuhan attended the University of Manitoba from 1929 to 1934, receiving a Bachelor or Arts and a Master of Arts in English literature.
After teaching English at various American universities, McLuhan returned to Canada in 1944 to teach at Assumption College in Windsor. From 1946 until shortly before his death, he taught English at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. In 1963, McLuhan became the director of the University of Toronto's newly-established Centre for Culture and Technology. The Centre conducted research on questions of sensory perception and other communications-related issues and offered academic courses.
McLuhan's books include the following: The Mechanical Bride (1951), The Gutenberg Galaxy (1961), for which he was awarded the Governor General's prize for critical prose; Understanding Media (1964); The Medium is the Massage (1967, with Quentin Fiore); War and Peace in the Global Village (1968, with Quentin Fiore); Through the Vanishing Point (1968, with Harley Parker); Counterblast (1969, with Harley Parker); Culture is Our Business (1970); From Cliché to Archetype (1970, with Wilfred Watson); Take Today (1972, with Barrington Nevitt); and The City as Classroom (1977, with Eric McLuhan and Kathryn Hutchon).
- Adapted from Library and Archives Canada's biographical note for the Marshall McLuhan fonds.
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Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto