Pierre Berton (born July 12, 1920) is a noted author of non-fiction, especially Canadiana and Canadian history, and is a well-known television personality in Canada.
Berton is one of Canada's most prolific and popular authors and an accomplished storyteller. The author of 46 books, Berton's literary career has been diverse. He has produced an array of different genres, from books on popular culture and Canadian history to critiques of mainline religion, to picture and coffee table books, to anthologies, to books for children, to readable historical works for youth.
He was born in Whitehorse, Yukon and raised in the Yukon. He worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He spent his early newspaper career in Vancouver, where at 21 he was the youngest city editor on any Canadian daily.
He moved to Toronto in 1947, and at the age of 31 was named managing editor of Maclean's. In 1957 he became a key member of the CBC's public affairs flagship program, Close-Up, and a permanent panelist on the popular television show Front Page Challenge. He joined the Toronto Star as associate editor and columnist in 1958, leaving in 1962 to commence The Pierre Berton Show, which ran until 1973. Since then he has appeared as host and writer on My Country, The Great Debate, Heritage Theatre, and The Secret of My Success.
He has served as the Chancellor of Yukon College and, along with numerous honorary degrees, has received over 30 literary awards such as the Governor-General's Award for Creative Non-Fiction (three times), the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour, and the Gabrielle Leger National Heritage Award.
He is a member of Canada's Walk of Fame, having been inducted in 1998.
Order of Canada, Companion, 1986.
Canadian Booksellers Award, 1982.
Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for non-fiction, 1981.
Nellie Award, best public affairs broadcaster in radio, 1978.
Governor General's Awards for: The Last Spike, 1972; Klondike, 1958; The Mysterious North, 1956.
Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, 1959.
1967: The Last Good Year. Toronto: Doubleday, 1997.
Farewell to the Twentieth Century. Toronto: Doubleday, 1996.
Attack on Montreal. Toronto: McClleland and Stewart, 1995.
My Times: Living With History 1917-1995. Toronto: Doubleday, 1995.
The Battle of Lake Erie. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1994; Paul McCusker illustrator
The Great Depression. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1990.
The National Dream, The Last Spike, Klondike, The Promised Land: A four-part history of Western Canada from Confederation to the Great War.
The Comfortable Pew: An examination of hypocrisy in religion. McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1965
My Country: stories from Canadian history, based on the TV show.