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Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister Who Led Canada Into NAFTA, Dies at 84

Brian Mulroney, Canada’s 18th prime minister, whose statesmanship on what he called “great causes,” from free trade and acid rain in North America to the overthrow of apartheid in South Africa, gave way to accusations of financial misdoing and influence-peddling after he left office, died on Thursday in a hospital in Palm Beach, Fla., where he had a home. He was 84.

A spokesman for his daughter Caroline Mulroney, a cabinet minister in Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government, said Mr. Mulroney had been hospitalized after a fall at his home. “He died peacefully, surrounded by family,” Ms. Mulroney wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
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Born into a blue-collar family in northeastern Quebec, Mr. Mulroney transcended his small-town roots to become a prosperous lawyer and business executive before seeking and attaining high office as a conservative, rising to prime minister in 1984. He won re-election by a convincing margin in 1988.

His popularity had much to do with his persona: With a liking for immaculately tailored dark blue double-breasted suits and always impeccably coifed, Mr. Mulroney was a skilled debater and orator and always ready with a crowd-pleasing joke to preface his speeches.

Mr. Mulroney posed for the cameras in Montreal in 2007 upon the release of his autobiography. In the book, he wrote about overcoming a drinking problem. Credit…Jeff Hutchens/Getty Images

Ingrid Saumart, writing in the Montreal newspaper La Presse, once called him “dynamic, bilingual and seductive.” Aides promoted him as the Canadian version of Ronald Reagan.

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