Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Wilfred Roy Corbett (1910-1997)

Artist, businessman.

Born in Prince Edward Island on 24 July 1910, son of Alexander Bruce Corbett and Amelia Perry, and distant relation to US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, General Douglas MacArthur, and British prime minister Winston Churchill, his family moved to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan where his father got a job as a prison guard. They returned to the Maritimes when the father lost his job after being injured. He and his father built a crystal radio together which led him to owning and operating “Roy’s Radio Service” in Winnipeg from 1940 to 1952. Later, he invented a one-wire electrical system. When the building housing his radio business was sold, he began the business “Winnipeg Landscape and Home Improvement Company.” He became well known for his perfectionism and level of care.

At the age of 9, he won first place in a provincial art competition. In the 1930s he began taking art classes and sold his first painting in 1934 and would eventually have pieces sold around the world. Queen Elizabeth owns three of his paintings, two of which hang in Windsor Castle. Another painting was commissioned in 1969 for the Manitoba Legislative Building.

He died at Winnipeg on 21 July 1997 and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery.


Brookside Cemetery: A Celebration of Life, Volume 2, 1878-2004

Published by E. R. Publishing & Communications Ltd., Winnipeg, 2004
ISBN 0-973346-0-6 (paper)

We thank Doreen M. Corbett, eldest daughter of W. R. Corbett, for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 January 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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