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Brief Biography of Kenneth M Molson

Kenneth Meredith Molson was born in Ottawa in 1916 and received his early education there. Ken attended high school at Ashbury College and then graduated from McGill University. Ken is related to the Molson family noted for founding the famous Canadian brewing company.

Ken pursued his education in aeronautics by attending the Boeing School of Aeronautics. Ken had a longstanding interest in flying and earned his private pilot's license in 1936 when he was only 20 years old.

Ken was proud to have worked at A. V. Roe Canada in the 1940's and 1950's. Avro (as it was known) created the Avro Arrow, the iconic, advanced, futuristic and aeronautically successful Canadian fighter aircraft. The Arrow project was scrapped by the Diefenbaker government in 1959 under intense pressure and lobbying by the United States to prevent its commercial success.

Ken met his wife Frances through his friendship with her brother, Arthur Cowie, whom he had gotten to know while working at Avro Limited. Ken and Frances were married in Toronto in1945. They lived and worked in Toronto until 1960 when they moved to Ottawa as Ken became founding curator of Canada's National Aviation Museum when it first opened at Uplands Airport in Ottawa. Ken is recognized as one of Canada's leading aeronautical historians and his personal collection of books and other documents is now part of the Molson Collection at the museum.

Ken nurtured a lifelong interest in wildlife from his youth. He maintained a great many friends with whom he hunted and fished throughout many small towns in rural Ontario. Wildlife preservation and studies to support sustainable ecological practices were a top priority for Ken.

Ken supported the World Wildlife Fund and its efforts to secure Canada's environment for the future.

Ken died in 1996 and Frances continued as Honorary Chair of the Foundation until her own death in 2008.

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