Biographies of Prominent Quebec and Canadian
John Peters Humphrey
Department of History,
Jurist and diplomat, was born at Hampton, New Brunswick. He was educated at Mount Allison University and at McGill University. Called to the Quebec Bar in 1929, Humphrey practiced law in Montreal before joining McGill's Faculty of Law in 1936. He briefly served as the Faculty's dean before being appointed director of the UN Secretariat's Human Rights Division in 1946, where he was the principal drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Humphrey would remain with the United Nations for the next twenty years. In 1966 he returned to teaching at McGill and continued to do so well into his eighties. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1974 and the UN's Human Rights Award in 1988. An ardent internationalist, John P. Humphrey was also a proponent of pan-Americanism. In 1942 he authored The Inter-American System: A Canadian View, in which he argued that Canada should join the Pan-American Union. He attended the 1941 Carnegie Endowment conference on Canadian-American relations held at Queen's University.
© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College