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Max Bell fonds

1927-1982, predominant 1940s-1960s

Physical Description:
18 m of textual records. -- 93 photographs

George Maxwell "Max" Bell, 1912-1972, was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He received his BA in commerce from McGill University in 1932, and in 1935 became business manager for the Calgary Albertan in Calgary, Alberta, owned by his father. After his father's death in 1936 he became president and publisher. He invested in the oil industry, amassed a fortune, and launched a successful career as a businessman, philanthropist and sportsman. In 1959 he and Victor Sifton formed FP Publications, which eventually owned or controlled the Winnipeg Free Press, Calgary Albertan, Ottawa Journal, Victoria Times, Victoria Colonist, Toronto Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun and Lethbridge Herald. He was a renowned sports promoter, and race horse breeder, and collected Canadian art. He was married twice. He and his first wife, Suzanne, 1917-2001, had four children, Chester, 1938-1970, Diane (Marra), 1934-2002, Paul and Gretchen (Dinning), 1947-. In 1955 he married Agnes McKeown McMahon [later Daugherty] 1929-1999. An arena and theatre in Calgary are named after him, as well as an aquatic centre in Lethbridge and a theatre in Banff. He was inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame and Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2006. For further information see "Max Bell" in Alberta Originals : Stories of Albertans who made a Difference / Brian Brennan. -- Calgary : Fifth House, 2001, p. 133-135, and "At the races - Max Bell" in Alberta Titans: from rags to riches during Alberta's pioneer days / Susan Warrender. -- Canmore: Altitude, 2003, p. 116-128.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of alphabetical subject files about investments, newspaper publishing, sports, thoroughbred horse racing, the petroleum industry, local and national charities, and personal matters. Includes photographs of Max Bell, horse racing, newspaper subjects, and Calgary.

Source of Acquisition:
Gift of Paul Bell, 1985-1999.

The material is in English.

Permission must be obtained from Paul Bell to use records.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-6991, M-8179, M-8681, PA-2844, NA-5071

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