Martin Brian Mulroney, PC, CC, GOQ (born March 20, 1939) was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993 and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms, such as the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the Goods and Services Tax, and the rejection of constitutional reforms such as the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord. Prior to his political career, he was a prominent lawyer and businessman in Montreal.
Mulroney was born on March 20, 1939, in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, a remote and isolated town in the eastern part of the province. He is the son of Irish Canadian Catholic parents Mary Irene (née O'Shea) and Benedict Martin Mulroney, who was a paper mill electrician. The family had six children who survived infancy. Since there was no English Catholic high school in Baie-Comeau, Mulroney completed his high school education at a Roman Catholic boarding school in Chatham, New Brunswick operated by St. Thomas University (in 2001, St. Thomas University named its newest academic building in his honour). Benedict Mulroney worked overtime and ran a repair business to earn extra money for his children's education, and he encouraged his oldest son to attend university.
Mulroney would frequently tell stories about newspaper publisher Robert R. McCormick, whose company had founded Baie-Comeau. Mulroney would sing Irish songs for McCormick, and the publisher would slip him $50. He grew up speaking English and French fluently.