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Joseph Charles-Émile Trudeau (July 5, 1887 - April 10, 1935) was a successful French Canadian entrepreneur and father of Pierre Trudeau, who would later become Prime Minister of Canada.

Life and career

Charles-Émile Trudeau was born in Saint-Michel-de-Napierville, Quebec, the son of Marie-Malvina (née Cardinal)(1849 - 1931) and Joseph Trudeau (1848 - 1919)[1], a Quebec farmer. He married Grace Elliott, the daughter of a prominent Scottish entrepreneur, and had four children. Charles-Émile Trudeau was considered gregarious, boisterous and extravagant.

Charles-Émile Trudeau, a lawyer by training, accumulated a fortune by building a number of gas stations around the Montreal area. Among his investments, Trudeau had interests in mining companies and was a shareholder and a member of the Board of Directors of the Montreal Royals baseball team.[2] He also had a financial interest in Montreal's Belmont Park.[3]

He died in 1935. Due to Charles Trudeau's business, Pierre Trudeau himself inherited wealth. Charles Trudeau also served as a more personal inspiration to the Prime Minister. As Jim Coutts, Pierre Trudeau's aide, recalled, Pierre Trudeau "talked, at times, of his father, whom he greatly admired, but who was too busy to understand his son's interests or spend much time with him."[4]


  1. ^ Memoirs, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 1993
  2. ^ Trudeaumania: A Swinger for Prime Minister | CBC Archives at
  3. ^ The General Star at
  4. ^ Jim Coutts, "Trudeau in Power: A View from Inside the Prime Minister's Office," in Trudeau's Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, eds. Andrew Cohen and JL Granatstein, Vintage Canada, 1999, page 146.


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