Best known for his iconic war poems such as In Flanders Fields, Canadian poet John McCrae was also an army physician. He was the first Canadian to serve as a consulting surgeon for the British Army and had earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Army.
Canadian author and social reformer Nellie McClung had struck gold with her first novel, Sowing Seeds in Danny, a bestseller. She also spoke widely about woman suffrage and was part of the Alberta legislature. She was part of The Famous Five, a group of women who launched the Persons Case.
Robert W. Service was a British-Canadian poet and writer. Popularly called "the Bard of the Yukon," he wrote some of the most commercially successful poetry of his era. A bank clerk by profession, he often wrote while traveling for work. Besides poetry, he also wrote fiction and non-fiction. He was often compared to English writer and novelist Rudyard Kipling.
Winsor McCay was an American animator and cartoonist. McCay is best remembered for creating the popular fictional character Little Nemo, who originated in a comic strip titled Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. Winsor McCay is credited with pioneering several animation techniques, such as inbetweening and cycling. An early animation pioneer, Winsor McCay’s work has influenced generations of illustrators and cartoonists.
Ernest Thompson Seton was a wildlife artist and author. He is credited with founding a youth program called the Woodcraft Indians in 1902. A pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America, Seton also had a huge influence on the founder of the Scout Movement, Lord Baden-Powell. His life and career inspired several works of art like TV series and literature.
Initially a herbalist’s apprentice, Simon Newcomb later deviated to mathematics and astronomy. Born to a schoolteacher, he had loved math since age 5 but wasn’t formally educated. He later joined Harvard University, taught math at the US Navy, detected locations of celestial bodies, and wrote a science-fiction novel, too.
English-Canadian writer Susanna Moodie is best known for her realistic depictions of her life in “the bush” or the wilderness of Canada, which was a British colony back in her time. Her most popular work remains Roughing it in the Bush. She had initially also penned several children’s stories.
Thomas D'Arcy McGee was an Irish-Canadian politician, Catholic spokesman, journalist, and poet. As a young man, he opposed British rule in Ireland and was in favor of creating an independent Irish Republic. He later became conservative in his beliefs and moved to Canada. He helped create the Canadian Confederation in 1867 but was assassinated the following year.
Hal Foster was a Canadian-American writer and comic strip artist. He is best remembered for creating the popular comic strip Prince Valiant, which is a fine example of Foster's dexterous, detailed artwork. His work had a major influence on the younger generation of artists like Joe Kubert. In 1996, Foster was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame.
Duncan Campbell Scott was a Canadian writer, poet, and civil servant. He is regarded as one of Canada's Confederation Poets. As a civil servant, he served as deputy superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs. In this position, he supported the implementation of racist policies toward Canada's First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
Born in Canada, Jacob Viner earned his PhD from Harvard before teaching at the University of Chicago. He later taught at Yale and Stanford, too, before moving to Princeton. Best remembered for his theories of international trade and cost, he had also been as advisor to Franklin Roosevelt’s government.
Bliss Carman was a Canadian poet whose works earned him international recognition. His poem, Autumn ,inspired Leo Sowerby to write Comes Autumn Time, which became his best-known organ piece. Throughout his illustrious career, Carman was honored with many prestigious awards like the Royal Society of Canada's Lorne Pierce Gold Medal. During his later years, Carman served as Canada's poet laureate.
E. J. Pratt was a Canadian poet who won the Governor General's Award, Canada's top poetry prize, on three occasions. Regarded as the most important Canadian poet of his generation, Pratt is also considered the leading Canadian poet of the first half of the 20th century. During his career, he also won other prestigious awards like the Canada Council Medal.
Apart from being a lawyer and a war historian, Jacob Dolson Cox had served as the governor of Ohio and as a US representative from Ohio's 6th district. During the American Civil War, he was a Union general. As the Secretary of the Interior, he introduced a civil service merit system.
Catharine Parr Traill moved from England to Canada after her marriage and soon became one of the greatest authors of children’s and settlers’ literature of her time. Her writings reflected the charm of the Canadian countryside. Her letters to her mother in England were collated in The Backwoods of Canada.
Archibald Lampman was a 19th-century Canadian poet considered to be the most outstanding exponent of the Canadian school of nature poets. He is often referred to as the “Canadian Keats” and classified as one of Canada's Confederation Poets. He was a quiet and dignified person with high ideals. He passed away at the age of just 37.
Robert Stanley Weir was a Canadian judge and poet. He is best known for writing the English lyrics to the national anthem of Canada, O Canada. He was trained as a teacher and lawyer. Over the course of his successful legal career, he was appointed a municipal court judge. He published several poems in magazines and book collections.
Annie Louisa Walker was an English and Canadian teacher and author. Born in England, she moved to Canada as a young girl. She ran a school with her sisters and also embarked on a literary career. With the help of her second cousin, prominent writer Margaret Oliphant, she was able to build a successful career as a novelist.
Charles Fenerty was a 19th-century Canadian inventor and poet. He is best remembered for inventing the wood pulp process for paper-making. His invention did not receive much attention in his lifetime and he never took out a patent on it. He was well known as a poet and published numerous poems. He was an extensive traveler as well.
A versatile writer and poet, William Wilfred Campbell began writing poems while in college, continuing to do so while serving as Episcopal priest, publishing his first two books of poems during this period. Later, he gave up his post due to a crisis of faith and continued with his writing, regularly publishing volumes of verses, verse dramas, fictions and non-fictions.
William Henry Drummond was a Canadian poet whose works established him as one of the most famous writers in the West. He is also counted among the most loved and widely-read Canadian poets. The Dr. William Henry Drummond Poetry Contest, which was established in 1970, is conducted in his honor.
Isabella Valancy Crawford was a Canadian poet and writer. The author of Malcolm's Katie, a popular poem held in high regard in the history of Canadian poetry, Crawford is widely regarded as Canada's first major poet. She made a living using her skills as a freelance writer, one of the first Canadians to do so.
Octave Crémazie was a French-Canadian bookseller and poet who played a major role in Quebec's cultural development. Often referred to as the father of French Canadian poetry, Crémazie is best remembered for his patriotic verse. Octave Crémazie is credited with founding an organization called Institut canadien, which aimed at promoting French-Canadian culture.
François-Xavier Garneau was a French Canadian notary, civil servant, poet, and liberal. Garneau is remembered for his contribution to the French-Canadian community, including Histoire du Canada, a three-volume historical account of the French Canadian nation. The Canadian Historical Association created the François-Xavier Garneau Medal, which is given every five years in his honor.
Louis-Honoré Fréchette was a Canadian poet, playwright, short story writer, and politician. Fréchette is the first Quebecer to be honored with the prestigious Montyon Prize, which he received for his work, Les Fleurs boréales, les oiseaux de neige. In 1989, Canada Post honored his contribution by issuing a postage stamp featuring his portrait.
Matheson Lang was a Canadian-born actor and playwright. He is best remembered for playing important roles in William Shakespeare's plays like Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet. Matheson Lang was one of the first theatre stars to appear in a film in 1916.
Antoine Gérin-Lajoie was a Québécois Canadian novelist, poet, and attorney. He is credited with writing one of Canada's most famous poems, Un Canadien errant. Antoine Gérin-Lajoie is also credited with founding a couple of literature magazines, namely Le Foyer canadien and Les Soirées canadiennes.