Sir John Stephen Willison

Sir John Stephen Willison, journalist, historian, imperialist, publicist (b at Hills Green, Canada W 9 Nov 1856; d at Toronto 27 May 1927). Willison's extraordinary public career stretched from 1881 until his death.

Willison, Sir John Stephen

Sir John Stephen Willison, journalist, historian, imperialist, publicist (b at Hills Green, Canada W 9 Nov 1856; d at Toronto 27 May 1927). Willison's extraordinary public career stretched from 1881 until his death. In Toronto he edited the Liberal Globe 1890-1902; the independent, then Conservative News 1903-17; and Willison's Monthly 1925-27. He reported Canada to the British elite in The Times 1909-27. In turn he was an intimate adviser of prime ministers Wilfrid LAURIER and Robert L. BORDEN. His biography of Laurier (1903) and his Reminiscences (1919) remain charming and insightful. His conversion to IMPERIALISM was evident in his writings and through his membership in the empire-wide ROUND TABLE MOVEMENT. An early free trader, he became president of the protectionist Canadian Reconstruction Assn 1918-21.