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Minifie, James Macdonald (1900–74)

James M. Minifie, one of Canada’s most illustrious journalists, was born in Burton-on-Trent, England on 08 June 1900. After emigrating to Canada in 1909, the Minifie family homesteaded at Vanguard, near Swift Current. At the age of 16, Minifie joined the Canadian Army and served in Europe during World War I. On his return, he attended Regina College and the University of Saskatchewan, graduating in 1923. He then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar, and at the Sorbonne in Paris.

In 1929, Minifie joined the New York Herald Tribune, subsequently becoming its Paris correspondent. During World War II, Minifie reported from London. While watching an air raid, an explosion cost him an eye. He was transferred to Washington, where he joined the Office of Strategic Services. After the war, Minifie joined the CBC as its Washington correspondent. First on radio, then on television, he built up a devoted following of listeners and viewers. He wrote several highly regarded books before being overtaken by illness in 1968. He later moved to Victoria, BC where he died June 13, 1974.

Mark Vajcner

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Further Reading

James M. Minifie. 1964. Open at the Top: Reflections on US-Canada Relations. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart; ——. 1976. Expatriate. Toronto: Macmillan.
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