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John George Diefenbaker

Diefenbaker, John George (dēˈfənbāˌkər) [key], 1895–1979, Canadian political leader. Elected to Parliament (1940), he succeeded George Drew as leader of the Progressive Conservative party (1956), and (1957) succeeded Liberal Louis St. Laurent as prime minister, although his party failed to win a clear-cut majority. In 1958 his party captured more than 75% of the parliamentary seats in the most overwhelming Conservative victory of the century. The Conservatives, however, lost their majority in the 1962 elections, and early in 1963 the Diefenbaker government fell. Diefenbaker was leader of the opposition (1963–67); he continued to sit in Parliament after he was replaced as Conservative leader.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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