John Napier Turner, born in 1929, 17th prime minister of Canada (1984). Turner was elected leader of the Liberal Party and assumed the office of prime minister on the retirement of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Born in Richmond, England, in 1929, Turner came to Canada at the age of three, following the death of his father. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of British Columbia in 1949. He then studied law at the University of Oxford, England, on a Rhodes scholarship and also took courses at the University of Paris. He became a practicing lawyer in 1953.
Turner entered politics as a Liberal and was elected a member of Parliament from Montréal in 1962. He served in the government of Lester B. Pearson in several offices. On Pearson's resignation in 1968, Turner ran for party leader but was defeated by Trudeau. He joined Trudeau's cabinet as minister of justice and attorney general and became minister of finance in 1972. Turner resigned from office in 1975 in protest against the government's policy of mandatory wage and price controls. He resigned from Parliament the following year and resumed the practice of law.
When Trudeau announced his retirement in March 1984, Turner again ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party and this time he won. He took office as prime minister in June and immediately announced general elections for September, making economic recovery his primary campaign issue. However, he campaigned feebly and the Liberals suffered a crushing defeat to the Conservatives. Remaining the Liberals' leader, Turner campaigned more effectively in the November 1988 elections, in which the main issue was a free trade agreement with the United States that he opposed. Although the Conservatives retained power, the Liberals doubled the number of seats under their control. Turner resigned as leader of the Liberal Party in 1990.