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Memorable Manitobans: Robert “Pete” McQueen (1896-1941)

Economist, professor.

Born at Edmonton, Alberta on 26 July 1896, youngest son of Reverend David G. McQueen and Catherine McQueen, he attended Edmonton schools then, in 1913, he entered the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Applied Science. He completed two years in Engineering then transferred to the Faculty of Arts. Before completing a degree, he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to begin the study of architecture. When the First World War broke out, he made repeated attempts to enlist, finally being accepted by the Royal Air Force in April 1918. After the war he returned to the University of Alberta where he received a BA in 1919 and an MA in 1920. He lectured in philosophy from 1920 to 1921, then spent two years at the London School of Economics. In 1924, he became Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Saskatchewan where he remained until 1934.

In 1935, he became Professor of Economics and Head of the Department of Political Economy at the University of Manitoba. He became Chairman of the Commerce Committee and helped to organize courses in the Commerce Department when it was established. He also gave lectures to members of the Worker’s Education Association in Winnipeg. His academic output was mostly confined to book reviews and short articles so his impact on the field of economcs was modest. However, he made contributions to Canadian economic thinking in other ways. He was appointed as a Director of the Bank of Canada and he served as a member of the Manitoba Tax Commission for several years.

He was killed in a crash of a commercial airliner near Armstrong, Ontario on 6 February 1941. His body was buried in Edmonton, Alberta.


1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“12 persons die in T.C.A. crash,” Winnipeg Tribune, 6 February 1941, page 1.

Obituary, Winnipeg Tribune, 10 February 1941, page 17.

“Robert McQueen, 1896-1941,” The Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, Vol. 7, No. 2 (May 1941), pp. 278-283.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 9 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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