Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Thomas Cameron (1882-1947)
Born at London, England in 1882, he attended schools in southern England before attending Edinburgh University. His work in chemistry earned him an Exhibition scholarship and, in 1906, he returned to London to work under Sir William Ramsay. Between 1908 and 1909, he studied at Karlsruhe, Germany under Fritz Haber, who would later become notorious for his development of toxic gases during the First World War. In 1909, Cameron came to Manitoba to become an assistant in the physiology department of the Manitoba Medical College, rising to become Professor of Biochemistry by the time of his death.
For many years, he was Chairman of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada and was a biochemist on the staff of the Winnipeg General Hospital. He served as President of the Canadian Institute of Chemistry, Chairman of the Biological Board of Canada, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1946, he was awarded the British decoration of Companion of St. Michael and St. George.
On 28 May 1923, he married Airdrie Edna Bell (1901-1985), daughter of Charles Napier Bell, and they had two children, including Alastair Graham Walter Cameron. A member of the University of Manitoba Senate, his receipt of an honorary doctorate from the University in October 1947 was pre-empted by his sudden death on 25 September 1947. He was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Dr. Cameron, biochemist, dies at 65,” Winnipeg Tribune, 26 September 1947. [Manitoba Legislative Library, Biographical Scrapbook B9]
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 1947, page 22.
Obituary [Airdrie Edna Cameron], Winnipeg Free Press, 4 November 1985, page 40.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 13 March 2020