11 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Jack Layton

08/22/2014 05:38 EDT | Updated 08/22/2014 06:59 EDT

His great-great-uncle, William Henry Steeves, was a father of Canadian Confederation.


He married his first wife, Sally Halford, at age 19. They were high school sweethearts.

wedding black and white


He was a competitive swimmer and earned a spot on McGill's swim and water polo teams.


Layton was a former card-carrying Liberal Party member.


But in 1970 he jumped ship, pulled by Tommy Douglas’ stance on the War Measures Act during the October Crisis.

tommy douglas


He taught at all three of Toronto’s major universities: Ryerson, York, and U of T.

university of toronto


He was a proud Trekkie and once had a Star Trek uniform tailor-made for him.

jack layton trekkie

It was "very form fitting," said his wife Olivia Chow in 2009. (Source)

Two gay Unitarian Church ministers officiated his second wedding to Chow in 1988.


Their tandem bike was a wedding present.


In 2006, Layton was responsible for what may be Harper's cheekiest comeback.


The man was a dim sum addict.

dim sum


He was a regular at Toronto’s Pearl Court Restaurant in East Chinatown. When he died in 2011, the owner placed a book of condolences outside its doors.

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