TORONTO (NEWS1130) – Former Ontario lieutenant governor Lincoln Alexander has died at the age of 90.
Alexander became Canada’s first black MP in 1968 and was served as Ontario’s lieutenant governor from 1985 to 1991. He also served as chancellor at the University of Guelph.
Alexander leaves behind his wife, Marni Beal; his son, Keith; his daughter-in-law, Joyce; and his granddaughters, Erika and Marissa.
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Lincoln Alexander, a great Canadian and proud Conservative #onpoli #cdnpoli.
It is with great sadness that I announce the death of the Hon. Lincoln Alexander, 24th Lieutenant Governor of #Ontario.
“Lincoln was a towering man, and his stature matched his influence,” says Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in a statement. “Not just on all those fortunate enough to work with him, but all those who knew him. Indeed, he left an extraordinary legacy, both in his private life and as a public servant.
“Lincoln Alexander was perhaps the most admired and respected public figure in Ontario,” says Alastair Summerlee, president of the University of Guelph.
“He selflessly devoted his life to promoting education, equality and fairness. He led our University with grace and dignity for more than 15 years, and remained a great supporter and friend. He was an inspiration and a role model, and one of a kind.”
Alexander was appointed chancellor in 1991 and served five terms. He conferred degrees on more than 20,000 graduates at convocation.
“At a time when racism was endemic in Canadian society, he broke through barriers that treated visible minorities as second-class citizens, strangers in their own land,” says Ontario Lt.-Gov. David Onley in a statement. “Lincoln Alexander’s whole life was a rebuke to those who would equate ability with skin colour. He overcame poverty and prejudice to scale the professional and political heights.”
Alexander was born in Toronto in 1922 to West Indian immigrants and served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.