Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Francis Sweeney (c1881-1951)


Born at Neave, County Meath, Ireland, he started a life-long career in journalism as a boy, working as a circulation promoter. He came to Canada as a man and worked as a lumberjack, surveyor’s helper, and harvester. Returning to newspaper work, he first worked at Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, coming to Manitoba in 1910 to work at the Winnipeg Free Press, rising to become its Circulation Manager five years later. In 1931, he became General Manager of the Free Press, a post he held until he was transferred to Regina, Saskatchewan in 1936 as General Manager of the Regina Leader-Post. During the Second World War, he was Chairman of publicity for the Victory Loan campaigns in Saskatchewan. For this service, he was inducted into the Order of the British Empire. He retired in 1945 and ran unsuccessfully for federal election. He then moved back to Winnipeg, where he lived for a few months until he was recruited to become a civil defence officer at Regina. Soon after arriving, he died of a heart attack on 6 March 1951. His body was returned to Winnipeg for burial in Elmwood Cemetery.


“John F. Sweeney, 70, dies of heart attack,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 1951. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B10]

“John F. Sweeney funeral Saturday,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 March 1951, page 13.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 30 August 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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