Wilbert Keon

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The Honourable
Wilbert Keon
Senator for Ottawa, Ontario
In office
September 27, 1990 – May 17, 2010
Appointed byBrian Mulroney
Personal details
Born (1935-05-17) May 17, 1935 (age 83)
Sheenboro, Quebec, Canada
Political partyConservative
Occupationheart surgeon, researcher

Wilbert Joseph Keon, OC (born May 17, 1935) is a heart surgeon, researcher and was a Canadian Senator.[1]


Born in Sheenboro, Quebec,[1] Keon received a Bachelor of Science from St. Patrick's College, Carleton University[2] and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Ottawa.[3]

After a period of studying and teaching at Harvard University in Boston, he returned to Ottawa in 1969.[2] Keon founded the University of Ottawa Heart Institute at the Ottawa Civic Hospital in 1976,[3] acting as its CEO for more than thirty years until his retirement from that job in April 2004.[4] In 1986, he was the first Canadian to implant an artificial heart into a human as a bridge to transplant.[5] Keon retired as a working doctor and resigned from the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons in June 2010.

In 1990 Keon was appointed to the Senate by Governor General Ray Hnatyshyn on the advice of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, where he sat as a Conservative.[1] In 2010, Keon retired from the Senate upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.[6]

Keon married Anne Jennings in 1960. They have three children: Claudia, Ryan, (who is running for the Liberal Party of Canada in the federal riding of Nepean-Carleton,[7]) and Neil. Keon also has a school named after him in Chapeau, Quebec.


On November 25, 1999, Keon was caught in a prostitution sting by an undercover Ottawa police officer. Shortly thereafter, on December 16 of that same year, he resigned as director of the Ottawa Heart Institute.[8]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Wilbert Keon – Parliament of Canada biography
  2. ^ a b "Wilbert Keon". Carleton University.
  3. ^ a b c "Senator Dr. Wilbert Keon". Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
  4. ^ "Board Member Biographies". Champlain Local Health Integration Network.
  5. ^ "Achievements 'dwarf' doctor's humanity". Calgary Herald. May 11, 1986. p. 13.
  6. ^ "Lions, Argos owner Braley tapped for Senate". CBC News. May 20, 2010.
  7. ^ "Liberals: Ryan Keon". Ottawa Citizen. April 17, 2014.
  8. ^ Buchanan, Carrie. "Senator Keon quits director's job at Heart Institute". OTTAWA CITIZEN.
  9. ^ "Wilbert Joseph Keon". Order of Canada. Governor General of Canada.
  10. ^ a b "101st Convocation". Carleton University. June 18, 1994.