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Memorable Manitobans: Mark Harold Danzker (1902-1995)

Businessman, municipal official, sports official, philanthropist.

Born in Poland in 1902, his family emigrated to Canada in 1907 and settled at Winkler, Manitoba in 1907, moving to Winnipeg in 1911. His mother died when he was 7 and his formal education ended at Grade 5 when he took his first job as a dishwasher for a railway crew. At 11 he left home to work in a lumber camp and, by 16, bought a pharmacy at Lac du Bonnet. He eventually made a fortune in investments, oil exploration and development companies, as well as owning Danzker Dress Limited, a women’s wear shop in Winnipeg run by his brother Bill and sister-in-law Tessie.

He and his wife Dorothy had no children. He was active in amateur sports, including baseball, soccer, hockey, golf and tennis. He served as President of the Glendale Golf and Country Club (1951). In 1954 he brought the minor league team Winnipeg Goldeyes to the city. He played a major role in attracting the 1967 Pan-American Games to Winnipeg. He served as a Winnipeg City Alderman from 1960 to 1968, and ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate for the Manitoba Legislature in 1969. He was given a Manitoba Good Citizenship Award in 1974 and he was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt (1957) and the Order of Canada (1978).

He died in February 1995. His estate, estimated to be worth some three million dollars, was donated to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba. The Archives of Manitoba has his files from his political career as well as his work in the Jewish community (1948-1972), and his collection of newspaper clippings (1948-1978).

Sources:

Glendale Golf and Country Club Anniversary Yearbook 1946-1996, compiled by Leonard Remis, Winnipeg, 1996.

“Former city councillor ‘little dynamite’ Danzker leaves $3 million: Huge gift buoys foundation,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 October 1996. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Vertical File]

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Jane Fudge.

Page revised: 29 July 2017

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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