iasper.jpgIsrael Harold Asper, the multimillionaire founder of Canada’s largest media empire, died on Oct. 7. Cause of death was not released. He was 71.
Asper was born in Minnedosa, Manitoba. His parents owned several local movie theatres, and he grew up working for them as an usher. After graduating from the University of Manitoba and passing the bar, Asper built CanWest Capital, western Canada’s first merchant bank. He then founded the television station, CKND, and bought out Global Television, which he turned into a national network.
As executive chairman of CanWest Global Communications, Asper expanded its broadcasting interests internationally by acquiring TV networks in New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. In 2000, he purchased the Southam newspaper group; his company now owns 11 major metropolitan dailies including the National Post, Montreal Gazette and the Vancouver Sun.
A leader in the Manitoba Liberal party from 1970 to 1975, Asper also wrote the bestselling book, “The Benson Iceberg,” and published a syndicated column in The Globe and Mail. His two philanthropic organizations — the Asper Foundation and the CanWest Global Foundation — gave millions to Canadian communities and civic organizations.
In 1992, Asper received the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Gold Ribbon Award for Broadcast Excellence. Three years later, he was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame.
Complete Coverage From Canada.com