Exceptional Manitobans you should know about

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These five amazing people from Canada are known all over the world. They are happy to be from Manitoba. Learn about them and how they have left a lasting impact in their own areas:


War time spy and inspiration for James Bond, Agent 007

Sir William Stephenson, also known by the secret name Intrepid, was born in a place called North Point Douglas, in Winnipeg, in the year 1897. He is the person who inspired the character of James Bond (Agent 007). James Bond is the most well-known made-up spy in the world. Stephenson had many jobs. He was a fighter pilot, an inventor, a businessman, and a very good spy.

He won many medals for being brave as a fighter pilot. People also know him as the person who invented the wirephoto and a machine that sends photos over the radio. When World War II started, he was the leader of the secret British spy network in the western part of the world.

Because he did an amazing job helping in the war, King George VI made him a knight in 1945.

Tommy Prince

Highly decorated Canadian war veteran

Thomas George Prince was a war hero. He was from the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation. He was born in 1915 in a place called Petersfield, in Manitoba. He had a great career. Prince got a total of 11 medals for his work during the Second World War and the Korean War. People knew him as a great shooter and tracker. He also worked hard for the rights of Indigenous people. Sadly, even with his medals and good standing in the army, he faced unfair treatment when he came back to Canada. Prince died in Winnipeg. At his funeral, his First Nation, the Province of Manitoba, and the governments of France, Italy, and the United States gave him honour.

Gabrielle Roy

Foremost modern novelist

A very good writer of today’s time was born in Winnipeg in 1909. Her name is Gabrielle Roy. She became famous for her first big Canadian book, Bonheur d’occasion (The Tin Flute). This book has won many prizes and has been changed into twelve different languages. She got the biggest awards for writing. Some of these were the Governor General’s Award which she got in 1947, 1957, and 1978. In 1967, she was given the title of Companion of the Order of Canada.

Neil Young

Rock icon and ‘Grandfather of Grunge’

Neil Young is a very famous music artist. He was born in Toronto. When he was a teenager, he moved to Winnipeg. He first started performing in Manitoba and Northern Ontario. Young makes music in different styles. These styles are country, folk, and rock. He has been making music for many years. His songs are popular and they are known for their beautiful words and strong messages. He has won many awards called Junos and Grammy Awards. In 1982, Neil Young was put into the Juno awards Hall of Fame. In 1995, he was put into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was given a special title in Canada called Officer in the Order of Canada.

Cindy Klassen

Canada’s Greatest Olympian

Cindy Klassen is a speed skater who was born in Winnipeg. She has taken part in the Olympics three times. She has also won six Olympic medals. She was given the name “Canada’s Greatest Olympian”. This happened when she became the athlete from Canada with the most Olympic medals. This was at the 2006 Winter Games. These games were in Turin, Italy.

Klassen won a gold medal in the 1500m race. She won a silver medal in the 100m race and in the team race. She also won a bronze medal in the 300m and 500m races. She was the first athlete from Canada and the first woman speed skater to win five medals in one Olympic Games. Before this, Klassen won a bronze medal in the 300m race. This was in her first Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002.

Want to know more amazing Manitobans? Read 16 outstanding Manitobans who will make you proud.

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