John Joseph Bench

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John Joseph (Joe) Bench, K.C., (May 1, 1905 - December 9, 1947) was a Canadian lawyer and Senator.

Bench was appointed to the Canadian Senate on November 19, 1942 by William Lyon Mackenzie King and, at 37, was Canada's youngest Senator when he first sat in the Upper House. A Liberal he ran for election to the Canadian House of Commons in 1940 but was defeated in the riding of Lincoln.[1]

He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1928 and was called to the bar the same year. He was named King's Counsel at the age of 33, the youngest in the British Empire.[2]

Bench became active in the St. Catharines, Ontario community and served as president of the local chamber of commerce as well as chairman of the separate school board.[1]

He was a member of the Canadian Army reserves with the rank of captain. He had served in the Canadian militia prior to World War I and enlisted in the Army at the beginning of World War II but was dismissed as physically unfit.[1]

As a Senator, Bench called for the legalization of margarine in Canada.[2] he was appointed to sit on the National War Labour Board in 1943.[2]

Bench died at the age of 42 after suffering a heart attack.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Rupert Davies One Of Three New Senators", Globe and Mail, November 20, 1942
  2. ^ a b c d "John Joseph Bench: Young Senator, Leading Lawyer And Civic Worker", Globe and Mail, December 10, 1947

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