Ide, Thomas Ranald

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Ide, Thomas Ranald

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  • Ide, Ran

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1919-1996

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Thomas Ranald (Ran) Ide was born in Ottawa on February 20, 1919 to Lola Scharfe and Richard Mold Ide. He moved with his family to Saint John, N.B., where he went to high school. After graduating from Mount Allison University, he taught at Pickering College, Newmarket, Ontario, where he met his first wife Eleanor Aylesworth. During WWII, Ran Ide served as a navigator in the RCAF and afterwards, returned to teaching at the Port Arthur Collegiate Institute.

Eleanor and Ran had three children Richard, John and Douglas. In 1953, Eleanor was struck by polio and lived the next twelve years as a quadriplegic until her death in 1964. During this period, television played an important role in the household. TV, as Ran saw it, could bring the classroom into a hospital room, the home, or isolated community and he immediately starting promoting its potential as a powerful educational tool.

After spending twenty years in Port Arthur, Thunder Bay, and Fort William as a teacher, principal, inspector and superintendent of secondary schools, Ran Ide was asked in 1966 by the Honourable William G. Davis to establish a branch responsible for educational television within the Ontario Department of Education. When the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, better known as TVOntario, was created in 1970, Mr. Ide was appointed its first Chairman and CEO.

Following his retirement in 1979, he established T. R. Ide Consultants Inc. with his second wife Arlene Miles and, among other activities, chaired the federal Department of Communication’s Research Advisory Board (CRAB), the Science Council of Canada’s Committee on Computers and Communications and served as acting Vice-President of Planning at the CBC.

Ran Ide held honorary doctorates from Queen’s and Waterloo universities. He was a Fellow of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation, the World Academy of Art and Science and was an active member of the international Club of Rome. In 1996, he was made an Officer of The Order of Canada. Ran Ide died of leukemia in October of 1996.

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