herb carnegie


A world-class professional hockey player, Herb Carnegie was prevented from ever playing in the NHL because of the colour of his skin. A dazzling, smooth-skating centre who won several MVP trophies over the years, many believed Carnegie was the best black player never to play in the biggest league of them all. The title of his autobiography, “A Fly in a Pail of Milk,” aptly summarizes how he was regarded by hockey’s all-white establishment at the time.

Born in 1919 to Jamaican immigrants, Carnegie fell in love with the game of hockey at an early age, playing on the frozen ponds in north Toronto and listening to Foster Hewitt call the play-by-play on the family’s wireless.

Playing alongside brother Ossie, Carnegie played in the Ontario junior ranks before moving to the semi-pro Quebec Provincial League, where they teamed up with Manny McIntyre to form the first all-black line in pro hockey. Although forced to give up on his dream, Carnegie nonetheless blazed the trail for those who followed.

After being forced to give up his dream, and with a strong desire to foster a more equitable society, Carnegie redirected his energies. He became a wildly successful businessman and philanthropist, starting a hockey school called Future Aces. Reflecting the steadfast commitment of a community elder that believed that each individual can rise above unfair treatment and can empower one’s self to make choices that can make this world a better place, Carnegie created the Future Aces Foundation in 1987.

Carnegie was named to the Order of Ontario in 1996, inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 and named to the Order of Canada in 2003.

Married for more than 60 years to his adoring wife, Audrey, who predeceased him, and loving father to three daughters and a son, Carnegie died in 2012 at the age of 92.

Making a Difference

Herbert Carnegie reflects the steadfast commitment of a community elder that continues to believe that each individual can rise above unfair treatment and can empower one’s self to make choices that can make this world a better place. To learn more about his achievements, please see his profile below.

Contribution to Education

The Future Aces Philosophy created by Herbert Carnegie in 1956 is designed to help youth develop the self-knowledge and self-confidence that will enable them to take control of their lives and to use their abilities in a positive way. It provides a model for behaviour based on teachable skills with a meaningful message to encourage responsible citizenship.

Used in this context:

FUTURE means always striving for improvement

ACES means being the best your can be and is an acronym for:

A Attitude, Ability, Action, Achieve
C Co-operation, Courage, Confidence
E Example, Empathy, Education
S Service, Sportsmanship


Community and Service Recognition

Eight Medals for Community Service 

  • Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal –  2012
  • Order of Canada – May 2004
  • Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal – 2002
  • Order of Ontario (O.Ont.) – 1996
  • Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canada – 1992
  • Metropolitan Toronto Canada Day Medal – 1990
  • Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship (O.M.C.) – 1988
  • Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal – 1977

Ten Hall of Fame Awards 

  • Whitevale Hall of Fame –  2008
  • African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame –  2007
  • Black Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame –  2006
  • Senior Hockey Hall of Fame Immortal – (Career 1940 – 1954) – 2004
  • Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (Hockey) – 2001
  • International Afro-American Sport Hall of Fame and Gallery (Detroit) – 1997
  • Owen Sound Sports Hall of Fame (Hockey) – 1997
  • Investors Group Ontario Hall of Fame (Business) – 1997
  • Pride Hall of Fame (Community) – 1997
  • Summit Wall of Fame (Golf) – 1996

Other Community Awards/Recognition

  • Herbert H. Carnegie Gymnasium – Earl Haig Secondary School
  • Mathieu Da Costa Award – for legacy of inspiring youth – Ontario Black History Society – 2012
  • Zoomers: Recognized as one of the Top 25 Canadians over 45 – 2010
  • Dr. Herbert H. Carnegie Community Room – York Regional Police June 2009
  • Apple Creek SDA Role Model Award – February 2009
  • Herbert H. Carnegie Public School – opened September 2008
  • Planet Africa Lifetime Achievement Award – 2007
  • Urban Leadership Awards – Local Hero – 2007
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws (York University) – June 12, 2006
  • Herbert Carnegie –Doll for Democracy commissioned by the Jewish Women International of Toronto. Educational project designed to share the history of noteworthy people through the medium of dolls. – 2005
  • Appointed Honorary Chief of Police for York Regional Police – 2005
  • Herbert H. Carnegie Service Award – 2004 / an annual award established by the York Regional Police to be given to an officer who displays exemplary service to his community
  • Herbert H. Carnegie Community Service Award – 2004 / an annual award established by Investors Group Financial Services to be given to a consultant who excels in his career and service to his community.
  • Black History Makers Award – 2003 / presented by the Peel United Cultural Partners
  • Harry Jerome President’s Award – April 2002
  • 2001 Harmony Award / presented by the Harmony Movement of Canada for his contribution to bringing harmony to our multicultural community
  • Certificate of Recognition / presented by B’nai Brith Canada 2001 / for outstanding contribution to young people, by establishing the world’s first hockey school, the Future Aces Creed, a scholarship program for good citizenship and community outreach
  • Black History Month Award / presented by the Mayor of Toronto – 2000
  • Black History Month Award / presented by the North York Committee on Race Relations –1999
  • Volunteer Award of Distinction – 1997
  • Salute to the City Award – 1997
  • Community Race and Ethnic Relations – 1996
  • Toronto Onyx Lions Club Community Recognition Award – 1994, 1995, 1996
  • North York Board of Education Champions Award – 1989
  • City of North York Volunteer of the Year – 1989

Media and Special Recognition

  • Hebert H. Carnegie Public School / CTV / by Karlene Nation – January 2009
  • Hebert H. Carnegie Public School / Rogers TV / September 2008
  • NHL Inside Hockey Interview / Hockey Night in Canada / CBC – January 2008
  • NHL – Madison Square Garden TV – February 2007
  • Senior Local Hero / City TV / by Jojo Chinto – March 2005
  • In the Black / OMNI TV / interview by Anthony Sherwood – September 2004
  • Cover Story – Herbert H. Carnegie / March 2004 – North York Post
  • Local Hero / January 2004 – The Bayview Post
  • Listed in Who’s Who in Canada – 2004, 2005, 2006
  • Featured on the 2003 Official Black History Month Poster
  • Listed in the premier edition of Who’s Who in Black Canada – 2002, 2006
  • Canada’s Political Channel (CPAC) broadcast a one-hour interview on their program Public Life with Producer, Tasha Kheiriddin: May 2002
  • The City of Toronto named a recreation centre in Herb’s honour – the Herbert H. Carnegie Centennial Centre at 580 Finch Avenue. Dedication date: May 2, 2001.
  • TransWorld Sport news documentary featured Herb Carnegie and was broadcast in 133 countries in 10 different languages: June 2001
  • Herb Carnegie was one of thirteen Canadians chosen for the series Stories of Our Becoming. This thirty-minute documentary on his life was first aired March 21, 1995 and was produced by Windborne Productions for Visions TV.
  • Herb Carnegie was featured in the CBC radio documentary Black Ice that won the 23rd Annual Media Human Rights Award by B’nai Brith.
  • Herb Carnegie is the storyline featured in the one-hour documentary Too Colourful for the League first aired October 6, 2000.
  • Featured on the Contributions of African Canadian Poster Series distributed by the Toronto Parks & Recreation) – 1998
  • In conjunction with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, Marvel Comics published three special series of Spiderman comic books. Each portrayed a positive lifestyle message on drug awareness featuring the Future Aces Philosophy and Herb Carnegie as a real-life comic book character – 1990


In the 1940’s and 1950’s Herb Carnegie supported his family through his career as an amateur hockey player. Although the media, his fellow players and statistics recognized his unique talents in the sport, his dream of playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) would never be realized. Many believe that the unwritten code of the time denied him a tryout in the NHL because of race.

Herbie, along with his brother Ossie, and Manny McIntyre excited fans as the first “all Black hockey line” in semiprofessional hockey. The media frequently headlined the trio as The Brown Bombers, The Dark Destroyers, The Dusky Speedsters or The Ink Spots.

Semiprofessional Accolades

  • Northern Ontario Senior Champions – 1940, 1941, 1942
  • Quebec Provincial Hockey League Champions – 1945 -1946
  • Voted Most Valuable Player on the Sherbrooke Quebec Team – 1947, 1948, 1949
  • Quebec Senior Champions – 1952
  • Owen Sound OHA Senior Champions – 1954

Hall of Fame Awards – for recognition of his contribution to “Hockey”

  • African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame – 2007
  • Black Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame – 2006
  • Senior Hockey Hall of Fame Immortal – (Career 1940 – 1954) – 2004
  • Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (for his contribution to Hockey) – 2001
  • International Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame and Gallery (Detroit) – 1997
  • Owen Sound Sports Hall of Fame (Hockey Team) – 1997


Golf Championships (National and Provincial)

  • Ontario Senior Golf Team Canadian Champions – 1977, 1978, 1980, 1982
  • Senior Golf Championship of Canada – 1977, 1978
  • Ontario Senior Championship – 1975, 1976, 1982
  • Ontario Senior Champion of Champions – 1975, 1976
  • Ontario Parent and Child Championship with daughter, Rochelle – 1966

Golf Accomplishments (Local and Community)

  • Inducted into the Whitevale Hall of Fame – 2008
  • Inducted into the Summit Wall of Fame – 1996
  • Awarded – Honorary Membership – Summit Golf and Country Club – 1994
  • The Summit Golf and Country Club named a trophy in Herb’s honor to present to golfers who have distinguished themselves in tournaments outside the club – 1982
  • Summit Golf and Country Club Champion (1967, 1968, 1973, 1976)
  • Centennial Senior Team Invitational – 1976 (Summit Team)
  • Robert Abbott Senior Championship – 1971
  • Jack Bailey Memorial Trophy – 1969
  • Professional & Amateur Best Ball Champion (with professional Ken Girard) – 1968
  • Whitevale Golf and Country Club Champion (1963, 1964, 1968)