William Lyon Mackenzie King

William Lyon Mackenzie King

Born Dec 17, 1874
Hometown Kitchener
Died Jul 22, 1950
Death Place Chelsea
Political Party Liberal Party of ...
Religion Presbyterian
Alma Mater The University of...

William Lyon Mackenzie King, PC, OM, CMG, also commonly known as Mackenzie King, was the dominant Canadian political leader from the 1920s through the 1940s. He served as the tenth Prime Minister of Canada from December 29, 1921 to June 28, 1926; from September 25, 1926 to August 7, 1930; and from October 23, 1935 to November 15, 1948. A Liberal with 22 years in office, he was the longest-serving Prime Minister in Canadian history.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about William Lyon Mackenzie King.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of William Lyon Mackenzie King.


1874 Birth Born in 1874.


1890 16 Years Old His father was a lawyer with a struggling practice in a small city, and never enjoyed financial security. His parents lived a life of shabby gentility, employing servants and tutors they could scarcely afford, although their financial situation improved somewhat following a move to Toronto around 1890, where Mackenzie lived with them for several years in a duplex located in a then-respectable neighborhood, Beverley Street, while studying at the University of Toronto. … Read More


1895 21 Years Old 1 More Event
King earned five university degrees. He obtained three degrees from the University of Toronto: B.A. 1895, LL.B. 1896 and M.A. 1897; he earned his LL.B. in 1896 from Osgoode Hall Law School. … Read More
1898 24 Years Old After studying at the University of Chicago and working with Jane Addams at her settlement house, Hull House, King proceeded to Harvard University. He earned an M.A. in political economy from Harvard in 1898. … Read More
1900 26 Years Old King was appointed in 1900 as Deputy Minister at the head of the Canadian government's new department of Labour, and became active in policy domains from Japanese immigration to railways, notably the Industrial Disputes Investigations Act (1907) which sought to avert labour strikes by prior conciliation.
1901 27 Years Old In 1901, King's roommate and best friend, Henry Albert Harper, died heroically during a skating party when a young woman fell through the ice of the partly frozen Ottawa River. … Read More


1905 - 1906 2 More Events
1908 34 Years Old He was first elected to Parliament as a Liberal in a 1908 by-election, and was re-elected by acclamation in a 1909 by-election following his appointment as the first-ever Minister of Labour. … Read More
1909 35 Years Old King expanded the Department of External Affairs, founded in 1909, to further promote Canadian autonomy from Britain. … Read More
1911 37 Years Old He lost his seat in the 1911 general election, which saw the Conservatives defeat his Liberals. … Read More


1917 43 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1917, Canada was in crisis; King supported Liberal leader Sir Wilfrid Laurier in his opposition to conscription, which was violently opposed in the province of Quebec. … Read More
He worked for the Foundation until 1918, forming a close working association and friendship with Rockefeller, advising him through the turbulent period of the 1914 strike and Ludlow massacre at a family-owned coal company in Colorado, which subsequently set the stage for a new era in labor management in America. … Read More
King was Laurier's chosen successor as leader of the Liberal Party, but it was deeply divided by Quebec's total opposition to conscription and the agrarian revolt in Ontario and the Prairies. Levin argues that when King returned to politics in 1919, he was a rusty outsider with a weak base facing a nation bitterly split by language, regionalism and class. … Read More
1920 - 1921 3 More Events
1922 48 Years Old 1 More Event
In September 1922 the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, appealed repeatedly to King for Canadian support in the Chanak crisis, in which a war threatened between Britain and Turkey. … Read More


1925 51 Years Old King called an election in 1925, in which the Conservatives won the most seats, but not a majority in the House of Commons. … Read More
In 1926 King advised the Governor General, Lord Byng, to dissolve Parliament and call another election, but Byng refused, the only time in Canadian history that the Governor General has exercised such a power. … Read More
1930 56 Years Old In February 1930, he appointed Cairine Wilson as the first female senator in Canadian history. … Read More


In the 1935 election the Liberals used the slogan "King or Chaos" to win a landslide victory.
1936 62 Years Old 1 More Event
His government also made the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation a crown corporation in 1936, created Trans-Canada Airlines (the precursor to Air Canada) in 1937, and formed the National Film Board of Canada in 1939. … Read More
1937 63 Years Old 1 More Event
In June 1937, during an Imperial Conference of all the Dominion Prime Ministers in London convened during the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, King informed British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain that Canada would only go to war if Britain were directly attacked, and that if Britain were to become involved in a continental war then Chamberlain was not to expect Canadian support.
1938 64 Years Old In late 1938, during the great crisis in Europe over Czechoslovakia that culminated in the Munich Agreement, Canadians were divided. … Read More
King realized the likelihood of World War II before Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, and began mobilizing on August 25, 1939, with full mobilization on September 1. … Read More
1940 66 Years Old King linked Canada more and more closely to the United States, signing an agreement with Roosevelt at Ogdensburg, New York in August 1940 that provided for the close cooperation of Canadian and American forces, despite the fact that the U.S. remained officially neutral until the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. … Read More
By 1942, the military was pressing King hard to send conscripts to Europe.
With the War winding down, King held the Canadian federal election, 1945, and won the election, with a minority, but formed a functioning coalition to continue governing. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Lyon_Mackenzie_King.
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.