Born in 1929, Dr. John Robert Evans went on to become a noted Canadian pediatrician, educator, and civic leader.
After graduating from the University of Toronto Schools, he received his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1952, and was also a Rhodes Scholar. He received his Doctoral degree from Oxford University in 1955.
Dr. Evans was the founding Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and then Vice-President of Health Services, at McMaster University from 1965 to 1972. From 1972 to 1978 he was President of the University of Toronto, and from 1979 to 1983 he served as a Director of the Population, Health and Nutrition Department of the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
He was the first Canadian to be elected chairman of the Rockefeller Foundation, and also sat as a Director for the Ontario Cancer Research Network, and a Member of the United Way Task Force. He was also the recipient of Fellowships from the Royal College of Physicians, London, and the Royal Society of Canada.
Dr. Evans was appointed as Companion of the Order of Canada in 1978 and invested in 1979, as well as being inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2000.
He also held the positions of Chairman of Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc., Torstar Corporation, Alcan Aluminum Ltd., the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation.
Dr. Evans helped create the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, with a mandate to foster the commercialization of biotechnologies in Ontario.
On February 13, 2015 the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and Junior Achievement of Canada bid farewell to Dr. Evans. We were very privileged to work with Dr. Evans who was a dear friend, incredible supporter and a role model for the next generation of business leaders in Canada.