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John "Jack" Michael Bumsted was born in White Plains, New York on December 12,1938. He received a B.A. (cum laude) from Tufts University in 1958. He obtained a Ph.D. in history from Brown University in 1965. He was an instructor at Tufts from 1963 to 1965. He moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1965 to take a position as an assistant history professor at the recently opened Simon Fraser University. He obtained the rank of associate professor in 1969 and full professor in 1975. In 1980 he moved to Winnipeg to teach at the University of Manitoba, a position he held until his retirement in 2008. He was appointed Director of the Institute of the Humanities from 1996 to 1998. Bumsted held visiting professorships at McMaster University (1967-1969) and University of Edinburgh (1979-1980). He was the W.P. Bell Visiting Chair in Maritime Studies in 1985-1986.
Bumsted is a prolific writer and researcher having authored more than thirty books. He has twice won the J.W. Dafoe Book Prize - initially for his book Land, Settlement and Politics in 18th Century PEI (1987) and then again for his Biography of Lord Selkirk (2009). Two of his books, Interpreting Canada's Past and A History of the Canadian Peoples are in their fourth printing.
Bumsted was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2003 and is a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society. Bumsted retired from the University of Manitoba in 2008. He and his wife own Whodunit ? Mystery Book Store.
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Revised by Brett Lougheed - April 2014