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Samuel Rosborough Balcom was born on 24 March 1888 in Port Dufferin, Nova Scotia, to Elizabeth (Bollong) and Henry Jonas Balcom. He was educated at the Halifax Academy; studied arts and medicine at Dalhousie University (1907-1911); and attended the Maritime School of Pharmacy (1914-1915). In 1915 he married Elizabeth Vera Rankin.
Balcom was a prominent Halifax businessman and politician. He founded the retail and wholesale drug business, MacLeod Balcom Ltd. in Halifax, which later became Balcom-Chittick Ltd. He was also active on the city's Board of Trade, serving as president from 1949-1951. Balcom served in both World Wars. He was overseas with the Dalhousie University Medical Unit in World War I and was Officer Commanding, Medical Stores (1942-1943) and Chief Medical Stores Inspection Officer (1944-1945) during World War II. Balcom was highly involved with local organisations. He served on the board of directors for many causes, and played an active role in the community. In 1950 Balcom entered federal politics when he won a local by-election and became Liberal MP for Halifax, a position he held until his defeat in 1957. Balcom also had a close relationship with Dalhousie University. He was a member of the Board of Governors for more than thirty years and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in 1969. He died in 1981 at the age of 93.