Lincoln Alexander is dead

Lincoln Alexander, who once served as the lieutenant governor of Ontario from 1985 to 1991, has passed away. He was 90.

Lincoln Alexander

Alexander was also the country’s first black member of Parliament, elected to the House of Commons in 1968 as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Hamilton West.

Current Lieutenant Governor David Onley made the announcement Friday morning.

“I am profoundly saddened to learn of the death of The Honourable Lincoln MacCauley Alexander, 24th lieutenant governor of Ontario,” Onley said in a statement.

“Lincoln Alexander, known to all and sundry as ‘Linc,’ was a living legend in his hometown of Hamilton,” he said.

Alexander’s wife, Marni Beal, said he died around 8:15 a.m. Friday.

She said he passed away very peacefully.

Born in Toronto in 1922 to West Indian immigrants, Alexander served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War, from 1942 until 1945.

He received a Bachelor of Arts at McMaster University in 1949 and graduated from Toronto’s prestigious Osgoode Hall Law School in 1953. Alexander was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1965.

In 1968, he became Canada’s first black MP and was re-elected three times, in 1972, 1979 and 1980. He was the country’s labour minister from 1979 to 1980 and served in the House of Commons until 1985.

That year, he was appointed Ontario’s 24th lieutenant governor. He held the post until 1991, focusing on youth and education.

Alexander will be lying in state at Queens Park, and then at Hamilton City Hall.

His funeral service will take place at Copps Coliseum. (CBC News)