Barbara Frum

Barbara Rosberg Frum earned a reputation as one of Canada’s all-time great journalists for her ability to gently pressure interviewees into revealing truths. Frum married in 1957 and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1959 with a degree in history. She began volunteering with inner-city children, but decided that non-profits were limited in the amount of change they could effect, and decided to raise awareness through journalism instead, writing human interest stories for the Toronto Star. From 1971–1981 she hosted the radio show As It Happens, which covered current events through phone interviews with power brokers and ordinary people. In 1981 she moved to television as the founding co-host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s nightly news show The Journal. There, she conducted thousands of interviews with celebrities including Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Paul McCartney, and a follower of Charles Manson named Sandra Good. Among her many honors, she was given the National Press Club of Canada Award for Outstanding Journalism in 1975 and the Order of Canada in 1979. Despite a leukemia diagnosis in 1974, she continued working until a month before her death in 1992. A public library and a breed of day lily were named in her memory.


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The Barbara Frum Public Library in Toronto, named for Canadian journalist Barbara Frum. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth

Niagara Falls, NY
United States

Date of Death
Volunteer, Journalist

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Barbara Frum." (Viewed on September 22, 2019) <>.


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