Born Daniel Abraham Yanofsky in Poland in 1925, Abe Yanofsky came to Canada as a small child. His family eventually settled in Winnipeg. Yanofsky was a graduate of the University of Manitoba and a Rhodes scholar, and earned a law degree at Oxford. He returned to Winnipeg where he became a successful lawyer and Queen’s Counsel. Yanofsky served as Alderman and Mayor of West Kildonan from 1961 until 1971, then as Councillor on the Unicity Council of the City of Winnipeg from 1972 until 1986. Among his accomplishments in civic politics was construction of the Seven Oaks General Hospital and Wellness Institute in Winnipeg’s north end.
In addition to his legal and political careers, Yanofsky was an exceptional chess player, winning the Canadian Chess Championship eight times. His development as a player began early. By the age of eleven he was recognized as a child prodigy, and represented Canada on second board in the world chess Olympiad in Argentina in 1939. He was named Grand Master in 1964 by the world chess organization, FIDE. Yanofsky was a central figure on the local chess scene, wrote the Free Press chess column for many years and was responsible for bringing the Pan American Chess Championships to Winnipeg in 1974.
Abe Yanofsky was awarded the Order of Canada in 1972. He died March 5, 2000.