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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

CHARLES MAYER

Inducted in 1971

Member Details

Date of Birth: January 28, 1901
Place of Birth: Montreal, Quebec
Date of Passing: 1971
Sport: Sport Journalist
Member Category: Builder

Career Highlights

1933-57

Le Petit Journal: sports editor (1933), executive sports editor (1952)

1954-60

Councillor, City of Montreal

1961-64

National Advisory Council for Health and Amateur Sports

Honoured Member CHARLES MAYER
Inspire

Story

Charles Mayer did more than just report the sports news. His tireless efforts to promote athletic participation among Francophones and the city of Montreal led to him being involved in all aspects of sporting life. After graduating from Universite de Montreal in 1922, Mayer began working as a journalist. He was briefly with Le Canada, before beginning an eleven-year stint at Le Patrie, where he was a municipal reporter as well as a sports writer. In 1933, he moved to Le Petit Journal as sports editor and was named Executive Sports Editor in 1952. He left, briefly, to become the publisher of Samedi-Dimanche in 1957 before returning to Le Patrie in 1959 as a columnist. In nearly four decades, Mayer became intimately acquainted with sport in Montreal. He also took the time to write L'Epopee des Canadiens (The Epic of the Canadiens), which sold more than 100,000 copies in two editions. During his career as a journalist, Mayer was also witness to the rise of first radio and then television as important vehicles for communicating sports programming to the public. He was the founder and host of the French version of the Hot Stove League as well as a long-time selector of the Three Stars on Canadiens' radio and television broadcasts—famously selecting Maurice "Rocket" Richard as all three stars following a five-goal game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. From 1945 to 1963, Mayer provided the French commentary on World Series broadcasts, first on radio and then on television. Also in 1945, he began French broadcasts of the Montreal Royals' International League games. Mayer filed daily 15-minute broadcasts from the 1948 Olympics in London and the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. His broadcasting and administrative lives often overlapped. While Mayer was a part of Canadiens' broadcasts, he was also the NHL's French publicist and in charge of the league's minor game officials for over 20 years. While he sent home reports from the 1948 Olympics, he also served as part of Canada's delegation to the London Games. His involvement in horse racing included serving as the director of information at Montreal's Richelieu and Blue Bonnets race tracks. He was president of the Canadian Boxing Federation in 1955-56 and was vice-president of the Montreal Amateur Association, which oversaw boxing in the province, and later vice-president of the World Boxing Association. Mayer also served as a boxing judge at Olympic and other world amateur boxing events. Mayer was a tireless civic advocate, promoting both sport and community. In 1954, he was elected to Montreal's city council and was re-elected in 1957. Mayer worked to promote Montreal to the international community, first suggesting the idea of the city hosting the Olympic Games in the 1950s and later attending the 1970 meeting in Amsterdam where the games were awarded to Montreal. He also publicized the idea of Montreal acquiring a major-league baseball franchise. In 1961, when the Diefenbaker government passed the Fitness and Amateur Sport Act, Mayer was one of the inaugural members of the National Advisory Council for Health and Amateur Sports created by the federal government's first attempt to regulate and promote sport and fitness. Within Quebec, Mayer played a leading role with Palestre Nationale—as a vice-president and eventually Life Governor—the most prominent francophone sports club in Quebec. Mayer's knowledge of and contribution to sport even extended to his being one of Quebec's representatives on Canada's Sports Hall of Fame's selection committee.


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