"Life, we learn too late, is in the living, the tissue of every day and hour."
Stephen Leacock, FRSC was a Canadian humorist, teacher, political scientist, and author of more than thirty books. In the early part of the 20th century he was the best-known humorist in the English-speaking world. The Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, which is awarded each year to the Canadian writer of the best book of humor, was named in his honor.
He was the third of eleven children born to Peter Leacock and Agnes Emma Butler. The Leacocks emigrated from England to Canada in 1876, settling on a one hundred-acre farm near Sutton, Ontario. There Stephen was home-schooled until he was enrolled in Upper Canada College, Toronto. He became the head boy in 1887, then entered the University of Toronto to study languages and literature. After earning his PhD at the University of Chicago, he taught economics and political science at McGill University in Montreal until his retirement in 1936.
In 1900 Leacock married Beatrix ("Trix") Hamilton, niece of Toronto financier Sir Henry Pellatt. In 1915, the couple had their only child, Stephen Lushington Leacock. After the success of Elements of Political Science (1906) and Leacock's first satirical books, the Leacocks were able to build a lakeside retreat near Orillia at Old Brewery Bay, where Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching join. The house is now a National Historic Site and museum.
Leacock died after a throat operation on March 28, 1944.
Burial in St. George's Anglican Church & Cemetery, Sutton, York Regional Municipality, Ontario, Canada
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