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Aegidius Fauteux
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Biography of Aegidius Fauteux

Aegidius Fauteux, son of Hercule Fauteux, carpenter, and Exilda Dagenais, was born on September 27, 1876, in the parish of Sainte-Cunégonde, in Montréal. After completing his classical education at the Collège de Montréal, believing he was destined for the priesthood, he studied theology at the Grand Séminaire de Montréal. But since that did not work out, he enrolled in law school at the Université Laval de Montréal. He was called to the bar in July 1903, but never practised.

His sharp, enquiring and open mind, and mastery of language made him an ideal candidate for journalism in his student years. In 1902, he founded the newspaper Le Rappel, organ of the Conservative Party, and remained as its publisher until 1904. He then became parliamentary correspondent for the newspaper La Patrie, in Québec, then editor in chief of the newspaper La Presse from 1909 to 1912.

In 1911, he married Antonia Chevrier. The following year, he abandoned journalism to pursue his main interests: history, books and archives. He became in turn librarian at the Bibliothèque Saint-Sulpice, which shut down in 1931, then at the Bibliothèque centrale de Montréal. In 1937, he was a founding member of the École de bibliothéconomie de l’Université de Montréal, and its director. A devotee of Canadian history in all its aspects, he becomes actively involved in many historical societies and associations, and was a founding member of the Société des Dix.

A prolific and rigorous intellectual, Fauteux carried out extensive research and wrote historical papers and articles. Honors abound: Prix du concours de littérature française, Université Laval de Montréal, 1900, 1901 and 1902; Ruban violet d’officier de l’Académie française, 1930; Lorne Pierce Medal in History; Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Université de Montréal, 1936; Tyrrell Medal of the Royal Society of Canada; Medal of the Société historique de Montréal for the best history book, 1941.

Aegidius Fauteux died a widower in Montréal on April 22, 1941, leaving an adopted daughter, Marie-Laure.

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