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obituary

Former B.C. cabinet minister Pat McGeer at his Vancouver home on Aug. 5, 2008.Jeff Vinnick/The Globe and Mail

Pat McGeer, a Princeton University-educated polymath who held several cabinet posts in British Columbia’s Social Credit governments of the 1970s, has died.

A brain scientist and member of Canada’s basketball team at the 1948 Olympics in London, McGeer died in Vancouver at the age of 95.

He was first elected as a B.C. Liberal in 1962 in the Vancouver-Point Grey riding, but joined the Social Credit party in 1975, going on to hold several cabinet posts, including education, science and technology, and universities.

McGeer also served as president and chairman of the Crown-owned Insurance Corp. of B.C. and chairman of the B.C. Research Council.

He received a chemistry doctorate from Princeton, and undergraduate and medical degrees from UBC, going on to head UBC’s division of neurological sciences, where he worked on brain research, focusing on Alzheimer’s disease.

McGeer, who left politics in 1986, was known as a booster of big and sometimes controversial concepts, including a tunnel or bridge from the mainland to Vancouver Island.