Desmond Morton (historian)Desmond Dillon Paul Morton (September 10, 1937 – September 4, 2019) was a Canadian historian who specialized in the history of the Canadian military, as well as the history of Canadian political and industrial relations.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Morton was the son of a Brigadier General, and the grandson of General Sir William Dillon Otter. He was a graduate of the Collège militaire royal de St-Jean, the Royal Military College of Canada, a Rhodes Scholar, Keble College, Oxford, and the London School of Economics. He spent ten years in the Canadian Army (1954–1964 retiring as a Captain) prior to beginning his teaching career. He was named Honorary Colonel of 8 Wing of the Canadian Air Force at CFB Trenton in 2002. He received the Canadian Forces Decoration in 2004 for 12 years total military service.
Morton was the Hiram Mills Professor of History at McGill University, as well as the past director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, in Montreal, Quebec. Following his retirement, he continued to serve at McGill as a professor emeritus. Prior to that, he was Principal of Erindale College, University of Toronto, from 1986 to 1994. While he was Erindale Principal, Morton scabbed on the striking cleaners of CUPE Local 3261.
Before beginning his teaching career, Morton served as an advisor to Tommy Douglas of the New Democratic Party. From 1964 to 1966, he served as assistant secretary of the Ontario New Democratic Party. After the success of the famous 1964 NDP Riverdale by-election, Morton wrote and published ''The Riverdale Story'', which detailed how the party's organizing and canvassing changed the way campaigns in Canada are run. In the 1970s he worked with David Lewis, Stephen Lewis, and other party leaders to oppose The Waffle, a left-wing faction within the NDP. In the 1980s he informally advised Brian Mulroney of the Progressive Conservatives.
Morton received his doctorate from the University of London. He was the author of over thirty-five books on Canada, including the popular ''A Short History of Canada''. In 1994 he won the C.P. Stacey Prize for ''When Your Number's Up''.
In 1996, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada since 1985.
Morton's widow Gael Eakin, to whom he was married for 20 years, announced that he died on September 4, 2019, six days short of his 82nd birthday. Provided by Wikipedia