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.”