John Joseph Connolly

John Joseph Connolly, PC OBE QC (October 31, 1906 July 25, 1982) was a Canadian parliamentarian.

Born in Ottawa, Ontario, he graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1927. He received a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and also taught at the university for a period. He studied law at Université de Montréal and was called to the Quebec bar and the Ontario bar. He was a Queen's Counsel.

During World War II, he was the executive assistant to Angus Lewis Macdonald, Minister of National Defence for Naval Services. In 1944, he played a pivotal role in the dismissal of Vice-Admiral Percy W. Nelles, the highest-ranking officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. [1] He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his work during the war.

A law professor, Connolly was appointed to the Senate of Canada as a Liberal by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent on June 12, 1953. From 1961 to 1964 he served as the federal party's president. In 1964, he was appointed to the Cabinet by Lester Pearson becoming Leader of the Government in the Canadian Senate and Minister without portfolio. He served as government leader until 1968 when Pearson retired and remained a Senator until his own retirement in 1981.


  • "John Joseph Connolly Led Government in Senate". The Globe and Mail. July 26, 1982.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bruce Matthews
President of the Liberal Party of Canada
Succeeded by
John Lang Nichol
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
William Ross Macdonald
Leader of the Government in the Senate of Canada
Succeeded by
Paul Martin Sr.

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