Leonard Braithwaite

Leonard Braithwaite

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Leonard Braithwaite

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Leonard Austin Braithwaite, CM, O.Ont (born October 23, 1923) is a lawyer and politician in Ontario, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1963 to 1975, as a member of the Liberal Party. He was the first Black Canadian to be elected to the Ontario Legislature.

Braithwaite was born in Toronto, Ontario to West Indian parents, and served overseas with the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II. He received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto in 1950. He then received a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School in 1952, and graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1958. He practiced as a barrister and solicitor, and was named a Queen's Counsel in 1971.

His political career began in 1960, when he was elected to Ward Four the Etobicoke township board of education. Braithwaite was Ratepayer's President for Etobicoke at the time, and was elected because of demand for a high school north of Eglinton. Two years later, he was elected as an alderman on the Etobicoke council.

Braithwaite ran for the Liberals in the 1963 provincial election, and defeated Progressive Conservative candidate Geoffrey Grossmith to win the constituency of Etobicoke by 443 votes. The original declared result...
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