Legendary Canadian film producer Tom Daly has died. The National Film Board of Canada, where Daly was a pioneering producer and editor, says the Toronto native died Sunday in Montreal, surrounded by family, after a long illness. He was 93.

The NFB says Daly is widely regarded as the most important figure to ever work in the agency's English-language branch.

He joined the public film agency in 1940 as a production assistant directly out of the University of Toronto.

li-300-daly-tom-2-nfb

Tom Daly, seen at left with a colleague in an undated photo, was a pioneering producer and editor for the National Film Board of Canada. (NFB)

Daly produced his first film in 1945 and six years later, became an executive producer of Unit B, where he built its reputation as the NFB's most honoured creative arm.

He retired in 1984 with a legacy of more than 300 films, produced over 44 years.

Daly learned the art of film editing from esteemed U.K. documentary makers Stuart Legg and John Grierson.

At the NFB, he also established the stock shot library, essential for the The World in Action series, and during the Second World War he edited several of the Canada Carries On and The World in Action films.

Daly was also the executive producer of the celebrated cinéma-vérité series Candid Eye, made between '58 and '61, and edited the groundbreaking multi-screen experience In the Labyrinth at Expo '67.

He mentored scores of filmmakers including Roman Kroitor — one of the inventors of IMAX — and NFB camera great Wolf Koenig.

The NFB's blog features a tribute to Daly and clips of some of his films.