She began her career as a freelance book reviewer for CBC’s Take 30 in 1965. Shortly after, she was promoted to co-host becoming the first racialized Canadian to host a national TV program.
Adrienne Clarkson broke down many barriers during her career as a journalist, television host, writer and as Canada’s Governor-General. Born in Hong Kong in 1939, she arrived in Canada with her parents and brother as refugees in 1941. Her family settled in Ottawa. After earning a BA and MA in English Literature, she began her career as a freelance book reviewer for CBC’s Take 30 in 1965. Shortly after, she was promoted to co-host becoming the first racialized Canadian to host a national TV program. Adrienne left Take 30 and in 1975 helped launch the new investigative series Fifth Estate where she worked as co-host and reporter until 1983.
Well-known for her stye of interviewing, Adrienne’s work was recognized with many awards in including a Gemini, a Gemeaux and a Donald Brittain award for best social/political documentary program.
After diplomatic postings in the 1980s, Jean Chrétien appointed Adrienne Clarkson as the 26th Governor General of Canada in 1999. Once again, she broke ground becoming the first racialized, first Asian- Canadian and only the second woman to hold the position. After leaving Rideau Hall in 2005, Ms. Clarkson founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship for the purpose of helping new citizens participate in mainstream civic and social life.