Sir Wilfrid Laurier was born on November 20, 1841, to Carolus and Marcelle Martineau in Saint-Lin, a town north of Montréal in the Lanaudiere region. He married Zoe Lafontain but didn't have any children. He was an accomplished lawyer and journalist, as well as an excellent speaker and an intense believer in Canada's destiny of a great nation. He was the seventh Prime Minister, and also the first French Canadian Prime Minister of Canada from 1896 to 1911.
Some of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's great accomplishments include bringing the French and the English together when many others in his position failed, creating the Department of Affairs in 1909, and encouraging the development of Western Canada through immigration.
Through the foresight of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the "Father of Modern Canada", he was key in building the second transcontinental railway system and colonizing the fertile lands of western Canada. The colonization and the building of the railroads led to the "Western Boom" which stimulated the country's economy and the creation of two new provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905.
In 1911, Sir Wilfrid Laurier ended his long reign, of 15 years, as the Priminister of Canada. He died on February 17, 1919, following a series of strokes while he was in office as the Opposition Leader. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was laid to rest in Ottawa with all the honours due a great government leader. Sir Wilfrid Laurier will always be remembered as a "Great Conciliator", the "Father of Modern Canada", and a man who was a great diplomat concerning international affairs.
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Laurier, Sir Wilfrid. [Photograph]. Retrieved October 25, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/eb/art-12543