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Four generations of Albertans in the Lougheed family span the entire history of Alberta as a Canadian province. Mr. Lougheed’s parents, the late Edgar Donald and Edna (Bauld) Lougheed were well-known residents of Calgary. Mr. Lougheed’s grandfather, the late Senator James Lougheed, first came to Calgary when there were only a few hundred people living there. Sir James was the only Albertan ever to be knighted and was the first Conservative from Alberta to serve in a federal cabinet. The Senator played a key role in the formation of Alberta as a province.
Peter Lougheed, later to become the Honourable Peter Lougheed P.C., C.C., K.C., was born in Calgary on July 26, 1928. He was educated in Calgary public and secondary schools before attending the University of Alberta where he received his bachelor of arts and bachelor of law degrees. Later, he graduated from Harvard University with a master of business administration degree.
In business, Peter Lougheed quickly demonstrated his leadership qualities. In 1956, he joined one of Canada’s largest construction firms, and by 1962 had become general counsel, vice-president, and an elected director of the Mannix group of companies.
Peter Lougheed’s rise in public office was at least as meteoric. In 1965, at the age of 36, he was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. The party had no elected members in the provincial legislature at that time.
Less than two years later, he led his party to become the official opposition with six seats and on August 30th, 1971, in a stunning upset, Peter Lougheed became Premier of Alberta with his party gaining 49 of 75 seats. Alberta had been governed by the Social Credit administration for over 35 years and the province had never before elected a Progressive Conservative government.
In each of the following elections of 1975, 1979 and 1982, the Honourable Peter Lougheed and his party increased their popular vote and their majority.
There are many accomplishments of significance to Albertans during Peter Lougheed’s time in office, including: the Heritage Savings Trust Fund; strengthening of small-town and rural Alberta; the Alberta Bill of Rights (his first formal act as Premier); establishment of provincial rights during the repatriation of Canada’s constitution; a successful defence of Alberta’s natural resources; and a back-to-basics junior and senior high school curriculum.
The Honourable Peter Lougheed has been known as a champion of the interests of Western Canada, but at the same time, has clearly supported Canadian unity. His electoral support from Albertans helped him to become one of Canada’s most influential leaders.
Her Majesty The Queen appointed Mr. Lougheed as a member of the Privy Council of Canada in 1982. In 1987, Mr. Lougheed was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada.
Mr. Lougheed retired as premier and as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta on November 1st, 1985, and subsequently became a senior partner in the Bennett Jones law firm of Calgary. In addition, he became a lecturer at the University of Calgary and the Banff Centre of Management.
Throughout his life, Peter Lougheed has maintained a keen interest in sports. He played professional football with the Edmonton Eskimos, was active in all Calgary efforts to stage the Winter Olympics, was honorary chairman of the XV Olympic Games Organizing Committee, and continues to participate in active sports.
In honour of his active support of the Banff Centre, along with that of Mrs. Lougheed, a new building was dedicated as the “Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Building” in 1987.
Mr. Lougheed’s public life and private initiatives have had a decided and lasting effect on all Albertans.