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Pierre Trudeau

Prime Minister of Canada / Political Figure

Born: 18 October 1919
Died: 28 September 2000 (Prostate cancer / Parkinson's disease)
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Best known as: Prime minister of Canada, 1968-84
Pierre Trudeau was prime minister of Canada for nearly 16 years beginning in 1968. A professor before jumping into politics with the Liberal party, Trudeau entered office with a brainy charisma and youthful energy which seemed to match the changing mood of the 1960s. (His popularity was dubbed "Trudeaumania" in an echo of "Beatlemania.") He remained prime minister until 1984, save for a 10-month period in 1979-80 when he was replaced by Progressive Conservative leader Joe Clark. Among his many initiatives as prime minister, Trudeau was particularly known for leading the fight against the separatist movement in Quebec. He also gained a reputation as an eligible bachelor, dating high-profile women including Barbra Streisand and Bianca Jagger. In 1971 he wed 22-year-old Margaret Sinclair, a famous marriage which led to an equally famous separation six years later; the couple were finally divorced in 1984. In 1999 journalists named Trudeau the top Canadian newsmaker of the 20th century. At Trudeau's 2000 funeral his son Justin gave a heartfelt eulogy which became famous throughout Canada.
Extra credit: Trudeau's son Michel was killed at age 23 in November 1998 in an avalanche in British Columbia... Trudeau is a distant relative of Garry Trudeau, creator of the comic strip Doonesbury; both were descendants of Etienne Trudeau, who emigrated from France to Canada in the 1600s.

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