Paul Martin

November 24, 2012 10:58 pm

In high school, Paul Martin dreamed of becoming a famous athlete. Instead, Martin followed in his father’s footsteps by entering politics. From 2003 to 2006 he served as prime minister of Canada, the top political job in that country.
EARLY LIFE
Paul Martin was born in 1938 in Windsor, Ontario. His father, Paul Martin, Sr., was a powerful member of Canada’s Liberal Party. In 1946, when young Martin was eight years old, he was diagnosed with polio, a serious disease. He made a full recovery.
EDUCATION AND BUSINESS CAREER
Because of his father’s job in politics, Martin’s family moved to Ottawa, Ontario—Canada’s capital—when he was in second grade. His parents sent him to a school where he learned to speak fluent French.
In college at the University of Toronto, Martin studied philosophy and history. In 1964, he received his law degree from the university’s school of law.
Martin went on to spend many years as a successful business executive. He became president of a big shipping company and made it very successful. Martin became a multimillionaire.
MARTIN ENTERS POLITICS
Martin first won election to Canada’s House of Commons in 1988, at the age of 50. Martin represented a district in the city of Montréal, Québec.
Five years later, Martin’s business experience came in handy. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed Martin finance minister of Canada. In that position, Martin cut government spending. He got credit for helping to balance Canada’s federal budget.
Over time, a rivalry developed between Martin and Chrétien. In 2000, Martin tried to win the leadership of the Liberal Party from Chrétien. He lost that bid.
PRIME MINISTER
Under pressure from Martin’s supporters, Chrétien announced in 2002 he would retire. In November 2003, Martin won the leadership of the Liberal Party. The following month he was named prime minister. In early 2006 the Liberal Party lost in national elections. Martin was replaced as prime minister by Stephen Harper, a member of the Conservative Party.

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