September 8, 1937 – March 26, 1992
Barbara Frum was one of Niagara's most famous daughters. She was a radio personality known and respected from coast to coast for her interviews on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Barbara was the oldest of three children of Harold and Florence (Hirschowitz) Rosberg. Her
father immigrated to Canada from Poland as a child with his parents. Her mother was born in
New York city and came to Canada in 1935, the year she married. The family became well
known as the owners of Rosberg's Department Store which stood at the head of Queen Street in Niagara Falls.
Barbara (Rosberg) Frum was born on September 8, 1937, in Niagara Falls, New York. She
attended schools in Niagara Falls, Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.A. degree in history in 1959.
In 1957 Barbara Rosberg married a dentist, Murray Frum. Murray Frum was born in Canada a
year after his parents had immigrated from Poland. They operated a grocery store in Toronto.
Murray graduated with a degree in dentistry from the University of Toronto, but became a real estate developer. Barbara and Murray had three children, Linda, a Canadian Senator, David, a political journalist who became a speech writer for George W. Bush, and an aboriginal adopted son, Matthew, who later reclaimed his roots with his native family.
After graduation, Barbara Frum undertook volunteer work and began freelance writing for the Toronto Star. In 1971 she joined CBC radio as one of the hosts on As it Happens. This was a show that used telephone to conduct interviews with newsmakers and witnesses of news events.
Barbara Frum’s skills made the program one of the most popular and enduring. Her comments and incisive questions always demonstrated that she was knowledgeable and well prepared. It included field reports, short documentaries and business reports. Frum’s interviews with notable world figures made the show one of the most popular programs.
Frum received four ACTRA awards and the National Press Club award for outstanding
contribution to journalism. She was named to the Order of Canada in 1979. A public library in
Toronto was named in her honor.
Frum died on 26 March 1992. On the evening of her death, virtually the entire broadcasts of
both The National and The Journal were a tribute to her. Among the many tributes was an
editorial cartoon depicting Barbara Frum at the gates of Heaven with a reporter's notebook,
insisting on interviewing God.