George McCullagh

Plot 20, Lot 67
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

Born on March 6, 1905 in London, Ontario, the son of a well-meaning but sporadically employed carpenter, young George McCullagh was forced to leave high school before graduation to seek employment so he could help subsidize the meagre family income. His first job, not counting his newspaper boy position, was in a branch of the old Merchant’s Bank in London. He soon grew tired of counting someone else’s money and accepted a position as financial reporter at The Globe newspaper office in Toronto. His flair for the world of stocks and bonds soon saw him working in a brokerage office. It wasn’t long after that he opened his own firm and soon became a director of Mining Corporation. At the age of 25, George McCullagh was a millionaire.
   One day he had the good fortune to be introduced to mining magnate and publisher of The Globe newspaper, William Henry Wright. Soon McCullagh was working for Wright and in 1936 was given $1,300,000 by the publisher to buy his newspaper operation. Within months McCullagh had latched onto another newspaper when he purchased The Globe’s arch-rival, The Mail and Empire for $2,020,000. The young newspaper tycoon brought his two papers together under one name, The Globe and Mail. A dozen years later he added a third paper to his collection with the purchase of The Evening Telegram from the John Ross Robertson estate for $3,610,000. The December 1, 1948 edition of the newspaper, published with a slightly different and more succinct title, The Telegram, featured 43 year-old George McCullagh’s name as publisher.
   In addition to being the publisher of two of the country’s most influential newspapers, McCullagh was also a director of several large mining concerns as well as being on the board of the University of Toronto, the National Sanitarium Association, Maple Leaf Gardens, and the advisory board of the Salvation Army. He was also a great philanthropist, giving large amounts of money to both the Toronto General Hospital and Hospital for Sick Children.
   Early in 1952, McCullagh’s health began to fail. He suffered two heart attacks and just when it looked as if he was on the road to a full recovery, a third attack proved fatal. George McCullagh died on August 6, 1952 at the age of 47 at his Thornhill, Ontario estate. This estate is now the home of the famous Shouldice Clinic (see Shouldice, Earle).

Mike Filey
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide
Second Edition Revised and Expanded