Shackleton, Doris French

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Shackleton, Doris French

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Doris French Shackleton (nee Doris Cavell Martin) was born in Regina in 1918, and raised in Raymore, Saskatchewan. She got her teacher’s certificate in 1941 from the University of Saskatchewan, and taught school in Saskatchewan before beginning a career as a writer, editor and journalist. In 1945, she moved to Ottawa as correspondent for the Cooperative Press Association.

Shackleton was editor for the Economics and Research Branch of the Department of Labour from 1958 to 1960. She left that position to become a radio commentator for CBC Ottawa, where she worked from 1960-1967. Shackleton was editor for the Canadian Welfare Council from 1967-1970, where she ran the magazine "Canadian Welfare." In 1970, she was appointed press assistant to the NDP federal caucus, for whom she also wrote discussion papers. She twice ran failed campaigns for the federal NDP, once in 1972 in the riding of Ottawa-Carleton, where she lost to John Turner, and once in 1974 in the riding of Ottawa West, where she lost to Lloyd Francis. She was Councillor for the Township of Gloucester, Ontario from 1977 to 1979. Her writing has been published in major Canadian media outlets including the Globe & Mail, Chatelaine, Ottawa Journal, Ottawa Citizen, and Maclean’s. She published under the names Doris French, Doris French Shackleton, and Doris Shackleton.

Shackleton’s published books are: "Ask No Quarter: A Biography of Agnes Macphail," with Margaret Stewart (Longmans, Green, 1959), "Faith, Sweat and Politics: The Early Trade Union Years in Canada" (McClelland and Stewart, 1962), "High Button Bootstraps: Women's Teachers' Federation of Ontario" (Ryerson Press, 1968), "Tommy Douglas" (McClelland and Stewart, 1975; reissued 1983 by Formac), "Powertown: Democracy Discarded" (McClelland and Stewart, 1977), and "Ishbel and the Empire: A Biography of Lady Aberdeen" (Dundurn Press, 1988). She was a member of the Writers Union of Canada, and after moving to British Columbia in the late 1980s, joined the Federation of BC Writers. She was married once to Robert French (in 1941) and once to Philip Shackleton (in 1968), divorced in 1990; had two children, Janet and Colin, and one granddaughter.


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Created January 15, 2016. SS




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