British Columbia

Following in his footsteps: Father and son pursue similar careers, both awarded Order of Canada

For Dr. James Hogg, he had one key piece of advice for his kids: follow your passion.

‘What I love about my dad is he tiers his advice over the years’

Father and son, James and Robert Hogg, have a strong bond and deeply respect each other’s achievements. (Submitted by Providence Health Care)

On Father's Day, some people think back on the advice their dads gave them.

For Dr. James Hogg, he had one key piece of advice for his kids: follow your passion.

"Try and find something to do that you like and you can become passionate about because then it doesn't seem like hard work, it seems like more like a hobby," he said.

He speaks from experience.

Hogg is at the top of his field in lung disease research and received the Order of Canada in 2005 for his work.

He's the founder of the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul's Hospital and, at 83, is still working full-time in his tiny office there. 

But he didn't expect his son, Dr. Robert Hogg, to follow in his footsteps quite so precisely. 

"I suggested it to him once and he said, 'Dad, I look at how hard you're working and I don't want any part of it," Hogg said.

"Now, that he's found something that he likes, he works as hard as I ever did."

An older photo of the father and son duo, taken in 1962. (Submitted by Providence Health Care)

The younger Hogg, 58, is a researcher with St. Paul's Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and a professor at Simon Fraser University. 

He was awarded the Order of Canada in 2018 for his influential research.

"What I love about my dad is he tiers his advice over the years; he has certain advice at different times," said Robert Hogg.

When he was younger, the advice was about figuring out his passions and following them. Later in his career, his father offered wisdom about maintaining that passion.

"He has gone through a lot of the things I'm going through at different times," he said.

Yet Robert Hogg said he doesn't think he'll take exactly the same trajectory as his dad.

"Even at 83, he is making significant contributions to the field and I think, at 83, I will not be doing that for sure," he said.

"I'm always amazed and proud of what he's accomplished throughout his life."

With files from Andrea Ross


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?