Born in Winnipeg’s North End on 15 June 1914, son of Nathan Freedman (c1874-1963) and Ada Foxman (1880-1980), and brother of Samuel Freedman, his family could not afford to send Max to university. Instead, he spent four years reading as many books as he could in the University of Manitoba library, and he would later claim to be a “graduate” of the University of Manitoba library. He began his journalistic career with the Edmonton Bulletin (having been recommended for the job by Winnipeg’s three chief librarians) and then served during the Second World War in the engineers and as education officer with the Canadian Legion. After the war he worked briefly on London’s Fleet Street, and in 1946 joined the Winnipeg Free Press as Ottawa correspondent. In 1949 he became the Free Press’ correspondent in Washington, then in 1952 served in Winnipeg as its senior editorial writer. In 1953 he returned to Washington as correspondent for the Manchester Guardian, and he added work for the Free Press to his portfolio in 1954. His syndicated column for the Chicago Daily News was carried by more than 100 newspapers and his advice was sought by many politicians, including US President John F. Kennedy. He married in 1960 and left the Guardian, residing in New Hampshire into the late 1960s. In 1967, he annotated a collection of letters between US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and US Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter entitled Roosevelt and Frankfurter: Their Correspondence 1928-1945. He retired in ill health in 1967 and later returned to Winnipeg, dying at the Misericordia Hospital on 26 February 1980. He was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Obituary [Nathan Freedman], Winnipeg Tribune, 30 March 1963, page 30.
Max Freedman Oral History Interview, 25 May 1966, John F. Kennedy Library.
“Judge’s letters edited,” Winnipeg Free Press, 6 December 1967, page 16.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 February 1980, page 80.
Obituary [Ada Freedman], Winnipeg Free Press, 1 April 1980, page 80.
Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.
“Friend, colleague and mentor” by Hella Pick, The Guardian, 31 March 2004.
We thank Johnny Grimond for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 4 April 2020
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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