W.O. Mitchell

Calgary Herald - - CITY -

Born March 13, 1914, in Wey­burn, Sask.; died Feb. 25, 1998

Oc­cu­pa­tion: Writer, drama­tist, teacher

Con­tri­bu­tion: Mitchell’s book Who Has Seen The Wind is the great Cana­dian novel, ac­cord­ing to Cana­dian his­to­rian Pierre Ber­ton. That’s the crit­i­cal con­sen­sus on Mitchell’s 1947 mas­ter­piece, which por­trayed the beauty and spir­i­tual power of the Prairies as a young boy comes of age. A charis­matic fig­ure, Mitchell also made a huge im­pact with Jake and the Kid, a weekly ra­dio se­ries he de­vel­oped for CBC Ra­dio, later turned into a book of short sto­ries and a TV se­ries. A mem­ber of the Or­der of Canada and the Queen’s Privy Coun­cil For Canada, he has schools named af­ter him in Cal­gary and Kanata, Ont.

Quote: “Al Purdy once said to me that he and I were Canada’s two finest hon­est phoneys. Which is a bee-yoo-ti-ful way of say­ing what we are.”

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