Home > Prominent Figures > Paul Gérin-Lajoie (1920-)

Paul Gérin-Lajoie, Minister of Youth, in the company of writer Roger Lemelin, to his right, and an admirer, to his left, during a literary event in 1960
Paul Gérin-Lajoie during a literary event in 1960
Paul Gérin-Lajoie, Minister of Youth from 1960 to 1964 under the Liberal Party government and then Minister of Education from 1964 to 1966, the Ministry he created
Paul Gérin-Lajoie, Minister of Youth and then Minister of Education

Paul Gérin-Lajoie (1920-)

Paul Gérin-Lajoie's ancestors include many illustrious men and women from Quebec: Étienne Parent, writer and journalist; Antoine Gérin-Lajoie, author of the famous novel entitled Jean Rivard (1874); Marie Gérin-Lajoie who fought for women's suffrage; Justine Lacoste-Beaubien, founder of Hôpital Sainte-Justine; and Léon Gérin, the first sociologist and author of the monograph entitled L'habitant de Saint-Justin (1897). As a key player against all odds in the educational reform of 1964, he warrants a place at their side. After completing his law studies, Gérin-Lajoie became the legal adviser for several organizations, including the Fédération des collèges classiques and the Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec. He ran unsuccessfully under the Liberal Party banner in the provincial elections of 1956, during a by-election in 1957, and for Liberal Party leadership in 1958. As a topped-billed candidate of the Liberal Party with René Lévesque during the elections of 1960, he was at last elected. He was elected again in the elections of 1962 and 1966. Gérin-Lajoie was first Minister of Youth (1960-1964) followed by Minister of Education (1964-1966). He left politics in 1969 to focus on a career of university teaching and as the head of international cooperative agencies. Over the years, Gérin-Lajoie has received many awards and distinctions.

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