Here are more New Brunswickers who have gained National and International acclaim. Have we missed someone? Please drop us a line and let us know. Also check our “NB Facts” page for others not listed here.
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Phebe Robertson Keiffer (1876-1962). Keiffer grew up on a small farm in Kings County in the early 1870s, but would go on to live in California, Chicago, New Zealand and Arizona, travelling solo half way around the world, earning a Master’s degree in 1927, amassing property in her own name, and in general living “ahead of her time” as a woman. Facing countless challenges along the way, her life is an amazing story of courage, pluck, and resourcefulness, set against the cultural and social exprectations of women in her time.
William Joseph Kent (1860-1943 ) Born in Tetagouche. He was a business and political leader in Bathurst. His business enterprises were significant in the economic development of the region. Kent was a founding alderman in Bathurst’s first town council for sixteen years before serving as Mayor of Bathurst for two terms.
Noël Augustus Kinsella (1939- ) born in Saint John, is a Canadian politician and was Speaker of the Canadian Senate from 2006 to 2014. He was a Professor for 41 years at St. Thomas University and is currently a member of the Board of Governors. Kinsella is an honorary Captain (N) of the Royal Canadian Navy since December 2008.
George Edwin King (1839-1901), born in Saint John; lawyer, judge; represented Saint John in House of Assembly from 1867 to 1878; introduced Free Schools Act in 1871; appointed judge of Supreme Court of New Brunswick in 1880; appointed to Supreme Court of Canada in 1893.
Molly Kool (1916-2009) Born in Alma. At 21, she joined the Merchant Marine School in Saint John. She was one of the first North American registered female sea captains or ship master. She was the first female Master Mariner in Canada. As a result, a line in the Canadian Shipping Act had to be amended to read “he or she.” The Canadian Coast Guard named a new ship after her as CCGS Captain Molly Kool in 2018.
Sir Pierre-Amand Landry ( 1846-1916 ), born in Memramcook; lawyer, politician, judge; first Acadian Cabinet Minister and first knighted Acadian; MLA from 1870 to 1874 and again in early 1880s; as MP for Kent County, lobbied for Acadians and New Brunswick; appointed New Brunswick Supreme Court judge in 1893.
Valentin Landry ( 1844-1919 ), born in Pokemouche; teacher, school inspector, journalist; as first Acadian school inspector (1879-87), encouraged growth of Acadian schools; founded regional Acadian weekly newspaper, L’E’vangeline, in 1887.
Arthur LeBlanc ( 1906-1985 ), born in Dieppe; violinist, composer; recognized as a prodigy at age five; known as the “Acadian poet of the violin” for his purity of tone and expressiveness.
Gérald Leblanc (1945 –2005) was an Acadian poet notable for seeking his own Acadian roots and the current voices of Acadian culture. Leblanc was born in Bouctouche, He studied at the University of Moncton and lived in Moncton, where he died in 2005. He also spent a good part of his life in New York City, which he loved. The quality and abundance of his poetic work guarantee him a place amongst the most important authors of modern Acadian poetry. Leblanc was the lyricist for the Acadian musical group 1755 and wrote many of the group’s classic songs. A library in Bouctouche, and a park in Moncton are named after him.
Paul Leblanc (1946-2019) was born in Dieppe. He made his career as a film-set stylist, fixing the famous locks of leading ladies, including Sharon Stone, Susan Sarandon and Ellen Burstyn. Leblanc also managed hair and makeup on movies produced by the likes of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and the Coen brothers. LeBlanc won the 1984 Academy Award for best makeup for the movie Amadeus. He also won a British Academy Award for Excellence as a makeup artist. The two statuettes are on display at the Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton.
Roméo LeBlanc ( 1927-2009 ), born in Memramcook; politician; Member of Parliament (1974-84); Minister of Fisheries (1974-82); summoned to the Senate in 1984, named speaker in 1993; first Acadian Governor General, appointed in 1994.
René Lévesque was a reporter, an actor, a minister of the government of Quebec, founder of the Parti Québécois and the 23rd Premier of Quebec. He was born on August 24, 1922 at Hôtel Dieu Hospital in Campbellton.
Chris MacClure (1943- ) Born into an artistic family in St. John. His paintings are an expression of his “Romantic Realist” view of life, not crafty nor painterly. Some collectors include, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, James Whitmore, mezzo soprano Frederica Von Stade, drag racing legend Don Prud’Homme , Bill Clinton, Pepsi Co. and the Ford Motor Co. of Detroit , and recently the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge (Will & Kate). He is the founder of “International Artist Day”.
Peter MacNeill was born in New Brunswick. He is a film and television actor and voice-over artist who has starred in many television series and films.
Harrison McCain ( 1927-2004 ), born in Florenceville; businessman; CEO and Chairman of the Board of McCain Foods Limited; started frozen food business in Florenceville in 1956 with brother Wallace; on boards of directors of Bank of Nova Scotia and Beaverbrook Art Gallery; Officer of the Order of Canada, 1984
Margaret Norrie McCain (1934- ), born in Noranda, Quebec; philanthropist; wife of Wallace McCain; appointed first woman Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, 1994; founding member of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation for the elimination of family violence; member of the board of directors of several organizations, including the National Ballet School and the National Capital Commission
Wallace McCain ( 1930-2011 ), born in Florenceville; businessman; former co-CEO and President of McCain Foods Limited; started frozen food business in Florenceville in 1956 with brother Harrison; on boards of directors of Royal Bank of Canada and Alliance for Drug-Free Canada; inducted into Canadian Business Hall of Fame, 1993
Lawrence McCloskey of Boiestown patented the Thermal Windowpane, a window with two glass panes separated by a hollow space, hermetically sealed and filled with alcohol, 1917.
Edward R. McDonald from Shediac invented what’s believed to be the world’s first crossword board game. In 1926, both the United Stated Patent and Canadian Patent Offices issued similar patents to McDonald for a board game called “Crossword Game”. The Scrabble board game was officially invented in 1938 by an American and has gone on to sell more than 150 million sets worldwide.
Frank McKenna ( 1948-), born in Apohaqui; lawyer, politician; won election to the provincial legislature in 1982; became leader of Liberal party of New Brunswick in 1985. Won a clean sweep of the Legislative Assembly in 1987.
Catherine McKinnon ( 1944- ) Born in Saint John, she began as a child performer, making her first radio appearance at age eight and her television debut at age 12. She is an actress, known for Hee Haw (1969), And That’s the News, Goodnight (1974) and Jubilee (1959). She was married to Donald Harron until 2003.
Antonine Maillet ( 1929- ), born in Bouctouche; author; Companion of the Order of Canada; received Governor General’s Award (1972) for Don l’Orignal;first writer outside France to receive the Prix Goncourt (for Pelagie-la Charrette). The narrator of her works often represents the collective memory of the Acadian people.
Robert Maillet ( 1969- ) born in Ste-Marie-de-Kent, Robert and pursued his dream to become a Professional Wrestler in the W.W.E. from 1997-1999. Maillet appeared in the film Sherlock Holmes where he accidentally punched Robert Downey, Jr. in the face. other films include Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Hercules 2014.
Andrew “Beef” Malcolm began his athletic career at Saint John High School, until 1932 when he put away is basketball shoes, baseball bat and sixteen pound shot for the last time. His accomplishments include city, provincial, maritime and Canadian championships, 43 cups and medals in track and field events and a Maritime record that stood for 29 years. He was enrolled in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, June 2nd 1973.
Anna Malenfant ( 1905-1988 ), born in Shediac; contralto, teacher, composer; studied in Boston, Paris and Naples; started the Trio lyrique in Montreal in 1932; recognized for a voice of unusual beauty and naturalness; under the name “Marie Lebrun,” composed Hu its chants acadiens inspired by the region of her birth.
George Matthews ( 1837 – ? ), Though he never took geology classes in school or received a university degree, he received more international recognition than any other NB geologist. His secret was simple: constant curiosity and work. George Matthews was responsible for finding more than 350 new kinds of fossils during his career. Nearly all were located in Southern New Brunswick.
Wayne Maunder ( 1935- ) born in Four Falls. He starred in many television series between 1967 and 1974: Police Story, Barnaby Jones, Streets of San Francisco, Rookies and appeared in the pilot of “Kung Fu” with David Carradine. He also appeared in the 1982 movie “Porky’s”.
Louis B. Mayer (1884?-1957) born Lazar Meir in the Ukraine and grew up in Saint John after his parents fled Russian oppression in 1886. Mayer moved away in 1904, heading to Boston, where he would eventually operate a Vaudeville theatre. He broke into the film business by purchasing the northeastern U.S. rights to D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation”. This early success led Mayer to a career producing movies, first hands-on, then as the co-founder of MGM, which produced hits such as “The Wizard of Oz”, “Gone with the Wind” and later entries in the James Bond series.
Joe Medjuck ( 1943- ) is a Canadian-born film producer in Hollywood. Medjuck was born in Fredericton. Some of his many producing credits include the films: Stripes, Heavy Metal, Ghostbusters, Legal Eagles, Twins, Beethoven, Kindergarten Cop, Dave, Junior, & Father’s Day.
Don Messer ( 1909-1973 ), born in Tweedside; fiddler; began playing at age 5; played his first radio show in 1929. In 1959 “Don Messer’s Jubilee” started its ten-year run on CBC television. Developed the unslurred fiddling style of English New Brunswick.
Matt Minglewood, born Roy Alexander Batherson, was born in 1947 in Moncton. Matt Minglewood is a musician whose style can be described as a blend of country, blues, folk, roots and rock. The name “Matt” was borrowed from his brother, Matt Batherson.
Cory Allan Michael Monteith ( 1982-2013 ). Actor and musician, best known for his role as Finn Hudson on the Fox television series Glee. The younger son of Ann McGregor and Joe Monteith. Following their divorce, Monteith moved to Oromocto in 1989.
Right Rev. Benedict J. Murdoch (1886 – 1973) was born in Chatham in 1886 where he received his elementary and high school education. Murdoch enlisted and trained with the 132nd CEF Battalion (North Shore), and eventually served in England, France, Belgium and Germany. Murdoch was a chaplain with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces in WWI, a Catholic priest, author of both fiction and non-fiction books including his very well received Great War autobiography “The Red Vineyard” published in 1923. Murdoch lived almost half his life in seclusion in Bartibog,
Graydon Nicholas ( 1946- ), born on Tobique Reserve, Victoria County; lawyer, judge; appointed Provincial Court Judge for Woodstock, 1991; first aboriginal lawyer in Atlantic Canada; first aboriginal judge in Maritime provinces; has concentrated on aboriginal issues and treaty rights.
Wendy Nielsen (1962 – ) Born in Harvey, Nielsen is an acclaimed opera, concert and recital singer. She has a Bachelor of Music (University of Lethbridge) and a Masters in Opera (UBC). She has sung major roles at the Metropolitan Opera, and performed across Europe, North America, and Japan, including engagements at Carnegie Hall and with the New York Philharmonic. She is a member of the Order of New Brunswick.
Alden Nowlan ( 1933-1983 ), Born to the challenges of poverty and a rural life, Canadian poet, journalist and novelist Alden Nowlan wrote twenty-four books and three plays in just twenty-seven years. Making a living through journalism and a life through poetry. In 1968 Nowlan became writer in residence at The University of New Brunswick, a position he filled until his death in 1983. Nowlan was born in Nova Scotia. He was 19 when he arrived in Hartland.
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