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Born in France in 1886, Charles Bedaux moved to the United States and became a naturalized American citizen. He was a highly successful businessman in the field of management consulting. According to Jim Christy’s 1984 biography, prior to his most famous expedition in 1934 across northeastern British Columbia, he had made hunting and exploratory trips to northwestern BC in 1926 and1929, the central interior in 1931 and to northeastern BC in 1932 and 1933.
Bedaux announced his intention to cross northeastern BC with Citroën half-track trucks on May 25, 1934 in New York City. The Canadian Sub-Arctic Expedition launched from Edmonton, Alberta on July 6, 1934 and contained a formidable array of talent and beauty, including Floyd Crosby, a Hollywood cinematographer, two land surveyors, Frank Swannell and Ernest Lamarque, mining engineer Jack Bocock, a Citroën mechanic, many cowboys, as well as Bedaux’s mistress, his wife and her maid.
Due to a combination of weather, terrain and poor planning, the expedition failed and the Citroën vehicles were abandoned. Although Bedaux returned to northern BC in 1936 with plans to build a road, he did not follow through. In 1937 he hosted the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor at his French chateau. Collaborationist activities with Nazi-occupied France led to his 1942 arrest in North Africa. Returned to the U.S., he committed suicide in a Florida prison in 1944.