During his tenure as Premier of Alberta, the Honourable E. Peter Lougheed became one of Canada's most prominent political figures. His Government's strong stand on energy and constitutional issues attracted national attention.
Edgar Peter Lougheed was born on July 26, 1928, at Calgary, Alberta. He was the son of Edgar D. Lougheed and Edna A. Bauld and was the grandson of Senator Sir James A. Lougheed, Alberta's first Conservative federal Cabinet Minister.
Peter Lougheed received his elementary education at the Strathcona School for Boys and at Earl Grey and Rideau Park Public Schools in Calgary. He completed his secondary education at Central Collegiate Institute in the same city. While attending Central Collegiate Institute, he was the first president of that school's Students’ Union, an innovation which he had proposed. In 1951 and 1952 respectively, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta. During his years at the University of Alberta, Lougheed played football for the University Golden Bears Intercollegiate Football Club and the Edmonton Eskimos, was elected president of the Students' Union, served in the Canadian Officers’ Training Corp qualifying as a Commissioned Officer, received the Law Faculty’s Joseph Dolson Oliver Mothersill award, and edited the sport's page of the university newspaper. In 1954, he received a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University.
On June 21, 1952, E. Peter Lougheed married Jeanne E. Rogers of Camrose, Alberta. They had four children: Stephen Rogers, Andrea Gaye, Pamela Sue, and Joseph Peter.
E. Peter Lougheed was called to the Alberta Bar in 1955 and first practised law with the Calgary firm of Fenerty, Fenerty, McGillivray, Prowse, and Brennan. In 1956, Lougheed joined the Mannix Corporation, a prominent construction firm, as general counsel. In 1962, he resigned as Mannix’s general counsel, vice-president and director and returned to private practice as a founding partner in the firm of Lougheed, Ballem and McDill.
In 1965, E. Peter Lougheed was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Subsequently, in the provincial election of 1967, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to represent the electoral division of Calgary West and, from 1967 to 1971, he served as Leader of the Official Opposition.
In the provincial election of 1971, Lougheed was re-elected, and the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party won the majority of seats in the Legislative Assembly. Consequently, on September 10, 1971, E. Peter Lougheed was appointed Premier of Alberta by Lieutenant Governor J. W. Grant MacEwan. Lougheed was re-elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary-West in the provincial elections of 1975, 1979, and 1982.
During his tenure as Premier, the Alberta Government's major priorities were the control of Alberta's natural resources and their development for future generations of Albertans; participation of Albertans in the mainstream of Canadian life; economic diversification; and the improvement of health, research, and recreational facilities in the Province. As well, the provincial government's financial resources were strengthened considerably by increased petroleum royalties. In 1976, the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund was established, and a portion of these royalties was deposited as a long-term investment to be used to meet unanticipated future needs. At the federal-provincial level, Lougheed advocated a stronger role for Alberta in national decision-making. He was one of the principal advocates of the 1982 constitutional amending formula. On November 1, 1985, E. Peter Lougheed resigned as Premier of Alberta and, on February 28, 1986, he resigned his seat as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary-West.
E. Peter Lougheed was a partner in the Calgary law firm of Bennett Jones LLP and served on a large number of Boards of Directors, including: ATCO Limited, Bechtel Canada, Canadian Pacific Limited, Bio-Technica Canada Inc., Carlson Construction Limited, CFCN Communications Limited, Brascan Ltd., Bombardier Ltd., DMR Group, Northern Telecom Limited (Nortel), Noranda, Princeton Developments Limited, Quorum Capital Corporation, Reed Stenhouse Companies Limited, and the Royal Bank of Canada. He has also served on the National Advisory Committee for the Banff School of Management, and was an adviser to the Government of the Northwest Territories. In the past, he served as co-chair of the Canadian Alliance for Trade and Job Opportunities (1987) and honourary chair of the XV Olympic Winter Games Organizing Committee.
In 1985, the Alberta Government recognized Peter Lougheed's service to the Province by naming a multicultural village in Edmonton in his honour – the Peter Lougheed Multicultural Village. In 1986, the provincial government also named a park in the Kananaskis area of Alberta in his honour and the University of Alberta School of Business established the Peter Lougheed Scholarships. In 1987, the new electronic art resources building at the Banff Centre was named in honour of Peter Lougheed and his wife Jeanne and, in 1988, the new northeast site of the Calgary General Hospital was named the “Peter Lougheed Centre.” E. Peter Lougheed has also received the following honours: Queen’s Counsel (1971); honourary chief (“Thunderbird”) of the Cree Indians (1971); honourary chief ("Crop Eared Wolf") of the Blood Indians (1974); Queen’s Privy Council for Canada (1982); Honourary Doctor of Laws, St. Francis Xavier University (1983); Shevchenko Memorial Medal (1985); Honourary Doctor of Laws, University of Alberta (1986); Honourary Doctor of Laws, University of Calgary (1986); Award of Merit, B’nai B’rith Canada (1987); Companion of the Order of Canada (1987); Legal Humanitarian of the Year Award (1987); Sports Wall of Fame, University of Alberta (1987); Honourary Doctor of Laws from the following universities: University of Lethbridge (1988); University of Windsor (1988); Dalhousie University (1995); Queen’s University (1996); and University of Toronto (1996). In 1995, Lougheed was awarded an Honourary Bachelor of Applied Technology degree by Calgary’s Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). The former Premier also received an Honourary Bachelor of Applied Policy Studies degree from Calgary’s Mount Royal College in 2001.
On September 13, 2012, at the age of 84, E. Peter Lougheed died in the hospital that bears his name in Calgary.