Happy Birthday, Pierre Trudeau!

Above is a video of Pierre Trudeau being interviewed during the 1970 October Crisis.

By Charmaine Gooden

Pierre Elliott Trudeau, fondly known as PET to his fans, would have been 92 years old today. He was born in Montreal on October 18, 1919. A politician, writer and constitutional lawyer, Trudeau served as prime minister of Canada for a total of sixteen years, from 1968 to 79 and 1980 to 84. From his first federal election in 1968, he won people over with his charm and style, igniting a nation-wide hysteria known as Trudeaumania. He made politics fashionable for the upbeat Sixties generation that emerged from the sleepy 1950s. Not everyone was a fan. According to CBC archives, New Democratic Party leader Tommy Douglas called the 1968 win unfair. To Douglas, Trudeau ran in a beauty contest (“kissing young ladies on the lawn”), not an election. Young, fresh, charismatic and sexy, he appealed to many. His trademark was a fresh, red rose in his lapel each morning. He was the country’s most eligible bachelor and women swarmed him. He dated some a slew of famous women – including singer Barbra Streisand, movie star Margot Kidder and classical guitarist Liona Boyd. In 1971, at the age of 52, he married Margaret Sinclair, a beautiful 22-year-old he had met while vacationing in Tahiti. They had three children before divorcing in 1980. After his political career, Trudeau returned to his Montreal law office. He died on September 28, 2000 at the age of 80, reportedly of prostate cancer.