At the age of 16 George Bossy left school and served with Canadaâs naval arm during World War II. After the conflict he attended McGill University in Montreal for a degree in commerce, where his career as an athlete began to take off. Prior to his collegiate football experience with the McGill Redmen he had been involved in amateur football with the cityâs N.D.G. Maple Leafs and Lakeshore Flyers, and he would play one professional Canadian Football League game with the Montreal Alouettes in 1952, the year of his graduation. Despite this, it was canoeing in which he made his mark on the Canadian scene, winning the C1-1000 national championship in 1951 and 1956-1959, capturing the North American Championship in 1958, and appearing at the 1952 and 1956 Summer Olympics. In the former he was eliminated in the opening round after failing to qualify for the final, while in the latter he placed eighth in a field of nine competitors.
Bossy later coached both football and canoeing while pursuing a career in commercial real estate. He was an important player in helping Canadian Tire, one of the countryâs most recognizable retail brands, establish itself in the province of Quebec. He moved to the United States in the 1970s and eventually retired to Mexico, where he died in 2012 after a fall in his condo. His nephew Mike Bossy spent nine seasons with the National Hockey Leagueâs New York Islanders, won four Stanley Cups, and is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame.