Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Edward Isaac “Ed” Leith (1906-1999)

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Edward Isaac Leith
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Born at Winnipeg on 24 January 1906, one of three children of Russian Jewish immigrants Jacob Leith (1875-1969) and Marsha Arkin (c1887-1933), some of his childhood was spent at Prince George, British Columbia. He was associated with the University of Manitoba for over 70 years, first as a student, graduating with a BSc (1928) and an MSc (1929). He joined its faculty in 1935 after postgraduate work at Yale University where he was involved in the first paleontological studies of the Ordivician rocks of Newfoundland. He taught introductory geology, paleontology and stratigraphy, earning the Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Saunderson Award for excellence in teaching in 1972. He retired in 1971 and was made a Professor Emeritus. On 15 June 1949, he married Sylvia Gillespie Roberts (?-?) at Winnipeg and they had a son and three daughters. He was a founding member of the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature. He died at Winnipeg on 8 September 1999.


Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

“Deaths and funerals,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 June 1933, page 10.

“Sylvia Roberts wed to Prof. E. Leith at civil ceremony,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 June 1949, page 14.

Death registration [Jacob Leith], British Columbia Vital Statistics.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 September 1999, page 51.

We thank James Burns for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 May 2020

Memorable Manitobans

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