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Alex Edmison was born in Cheltenham, Ontario in 1903. His ancestors were among the first settlers in Peterborough County. Edmison attended Queen's University and McGill Law School, graduating from the bar in Quebec in 1932. He was an alderman in Montreal and chief legal council for the Montreal Prisoner's Aid and Welfare Association until being commissioned with the Black Watch, Royal Highland Unit, in 1940. From 1946-1959, Edmison was a director of the John Howard Society, and from 1950-1959, Assistant to the Principal at Queen's University. Edmison served on the National Parole Board in Ottawa until his retirement in 1971. He was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1976 for his contributions in the field of criminology. Edmison was appointed to the first board of governors at Trent University in 1964 and remained an active, honorary member until his death in 1979.