Quebec historian and broadcaster Jacques Lacoursiere dies at 89

Historian Jacques Lacoursière, co-author of the history textbook "Canada-Quebec" that accompanied many students in high school, died Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at the age of 89. (CP handout photo courtesy Rémy Boily/Septentrion)

Historian Jacques Lacoursière, co-author of the history textbook "Canada-Quebec" that accompanied many students in high school, died Tuesday at the age of 89.

According to Gilles Herman, general manager and publisher of the Septentrion Publishing House, Lacoursière died Tuesday morning with his family. He had recently been experiencing severe cognitive problems. 

In the 1960s, Lacoursière co-created the "Boréal Express - Journal d'histoire du Canada," with his former professor Denis Vaugeois and Gilles Boulet, in Trois-Rivières, Que. 

It is with the same Vaugeois and another great historian, Jean Provencher, that he directed the writing of the history textbook "Canada-Quebec," constantly revised and increased since the end of the years 1960.

Lacoursière had also written in the mid-1990s a five-volume "Popular History of Quebec." Conscious of the importance of popularization, he was a researcher and narrator of the series "Épopée en Amérique," directed by Gilles Carle and broadcast in 1997 on Télé-Québec.

In 2002, he published "Une histoire du Québec racontée par Jacques Lacoursière," a sort of synthesis, of less than 200 pages, of all his books and manuals. But throughout his career, the historian was very present on television and radio, to make history alive. 

At the turn of the 1970s, he had also co-written with Denis Vaugeois "Les Troubles de 1837-38" and "L'Acte de Québec et la Révolution américaine.". Born in Shawinigan, Que., in 1932, Lacoursière had also written in 2001 the history of his native city, which was then a 100 years old.

The historian had received many honors, including in 2007 the Gérard-Morrisset Prize, one of the Quebec Prizes, for a career devoted to heritage, and the Legion of Honour the following year.

He was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Pléiade in 2015.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on June 1, 2021. 

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