Class of 2005
Born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1910, St. Clair Balfour was the son of St. Clair Balfour II and Ethel May Southam (the daughter of William Southam, founder of Southam Newspapers).
He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Trinity College in 1931, and then started working for The Hamilton Spectator, a Southam newspaper. He would remain at Southam, one of the largest communications and information companies in Canada, until retiring as Chairman in 1985.
During World War II, he served in the Royal Canadian Navy in the North Atlantic and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
After the war, he returned to The Spectator becoming its publisher in 1951. In 1954, he was appointed executive vice-president and managing director of the Southam company, where he became President in 1961, and in 1975 was appointed Chairman.
During his legendary 50-year newspaper career, Mr. Balfour built a reputation as a fierce advocate of editorial independence, freedom of the press and protecting Canadian publications form foreign takeover. He established the Southam Fellowship, a scholarship for working journalists that provides for a year of study at the University of Toronto.
In 1988, Mr. Balfour was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his status as one of the "most highly respected newspaper publishers in Canada".