Betty Kennedy (1926-2017)

Betty Kennedy

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Year Died: 


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Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame

Kennedy, Betty (1926- )

Broadcast journalist Betty Kennedy became best-known to most Canadians as a panelist on Canada’s longest-running television program FRONT PAGE CHALLENGE, a CBC-TV production which she joined in 1962 and appeared regularly until its final broadcast in 1995.

Betty’s journalistic career started with the Ottawa Citizen when she was a teenager. She made the move to radio in the 1940’s when a strike closed down the newspaper.

In 1959, she was appointed Public Affairs Editor of CFRB, Canada’s largest radio station, a position she occupied for 27 years and which made her one of Toronto’s most popular media personalities. As hostess of the five-per-week, hour-long afternoon BETTY KENNEDY SHOW, it is estimated that she interviewed 25-thousand guests, including every Canadian prime minister since Louis St. Laurent and such international personages as Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Betty Kennedy’s list of credits in business, community and national affairs is extensive – among them, appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada (1982); Director of Simpsons Ltd. (74-79), Bank of Montreal (since 1975), Northern Telecom Ltd. (1987); member of Metro Toronto Hospital Planning Council (65-70); Advisory Committee for the Ontario Education Communications Authority; Advisory Committee on Financial Institutions for the Minister of State for Finance; Advisory Committee for the University of Western Ontario (School of Journalism; first woman chair person), National Brotherhood Week; Council of Christians and Jews; first non-medical member of the Physicans and Surgeons of Ontario.

Author of 2 books – HURRICANE HAZEL and GERARD, the latter in memory of her first husband, Gerard Kennedy. In 1976, she married her second husband, G. Allan Burton.

In 1991, Betty Kennedy was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.

On June 20, 2000, Betty Kennedy was appointed to the Canadian Senate, but retired from that role on reaching her 75th birthday in January 2001.

Betty Kennedy died on March 21st 2017 at the age of 91.