William Lyon Mackenzie King

Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King

The Right Honourable William Lyon Mackenzie King, 10th Prime Minister of Canada.   He was also commonly known as Mackenzie King.

A true man does not only stand up for himself, he stands up for those that do not have the ability to”.


Time as Canada’s Prime Minister:
December 12, 1921 to June 28, 1926
September 25, 1926 to August 6, 1930
October 23, 1935 to November 14, 1948


Born: December 17, 1874 in Berlin (Kitchener), Ontario, Canada
Died: July 22, 1959, age 75, in Chelsea, Quebec

Resting place: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario

Political party: Liberal

Religion: Presbyterian

Education :

University of Toronto
Osgoode Hall Law School
University of Chicago
Harvard University




He was the grandson of William Lyon Mackenzie, mayor of Toronto and member of the assembly of the Province of Canada.   King also had the most terms (six) as Prime Minister.

According to his biographers, King lacked the typical personal attributes of great leaders.  Voters did not love him. He lacked charisma, a commanding presence or oratorical skills.  He certainly did not stand out on radio or in newsreels. Cold and tactless in human relations, he had allies but very few close personal friends.

Historians conclude that King remained so long in power because he had developed many skills that were appropriate to Canada’s needs.  Trained in law and social work, he was keenly interested in the human condition.  As a boy, his motto was “Help those that cannot help themselves“, and played a major role in laying the foundations of the Canadian welfare state.

After his defeat in 1911, King went on the lecture circuit on behalf of the Liberal Party. In June 1914 John D. Rockefeller, Jr. hired him as a Director of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City.  It paid $12,000 per year, compared to the meager $2,500 per year the Liberal Party was paying.  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.  King became one of the earliest expert practitioners in the emerging field of industrial relations.

On January 20, 1948, King called on the Liberal Party to hold its first national convention since 1919 to choose a leader. The August convention chose Louis St. Laurent as the new leader of the Liberal Party. Three months later, King retired after 22 years as prime minister.


On a personal note:

Privately, he was highly eccentric, with his preference for communing with spirits, including those of Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, his dead mother, his grandfather William Lyon Mackenzie, and several of his Irish Terrier dogs, all named Pat except for one named Bob. He also claimed to commune with the spirit of the late President Roosevelt. He sought personal reassurance from the spirit world, rather than seeking political advice.

King never married


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