Pierre Berton is a Canadian icon. He authored 50 books and worked as a journalist and broadcaster. He is best known for his works of narrative history, such as Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush and his two-part history of the Canadian railway, The National Dream and The Last Spike. He received numerous honourary degrees, and over 30 literary awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction three times. A founder of the Writers’ Trust of Canada and long-time serving director, Berton was at the head of the decision to create the Margaret Laurence Lecture series. He maintained a keen interest in the project helping to select the speakers each year. He died on November 30, 2004.