William Lyon Mackenzie King

Topics: William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, Canada / Pages: 13 (3220 words) / Published: Dec 28th, 2011
William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King Quick Facts

William Lyon Mackenzie King
William Lyon Mackenzie King served as Canada’s prime minister three times between 1921 and 1948, holding office for a total of 21 years during that period. He worked to improve Canadian cooperation with Britain and the United States.
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W. L. Mackenzie King (1874-1950), tenth prime minister of Canada (1921-1926, 1926-1930, 1935-1948). King was the leader of Canada's Liberal Party from 1919 to 1948. On his retirement he had held office longer than any other prime minister in the British Commonwealth, and under his leadership, Canada became a participant in world affairs. King contributed much to the cooperation between Britain, Canada, and the United States during and after World War II (1939-1945). However, his greatest achievement was the preservation of unity between French-speaking and English-speaking parts of Canada.


William Lyon Mackenzie King was born in Berlin (now Kitchener), Ontario, in 1874. He was named after his maternal grandfather, William Lyon Mackenzie, a leader in an unsuccessful 1837 rebellion against British rule. King's father came from a family that was loyal to Britain, and this combination of opposites foreshadowed King's future.

In 1891 King went to the University of Toronto to study economics and government. He won a scholarship to the University of Chicago and did postgraduate work at Harvard University.

In Toronto and in Chicago, King had been appalled by the poverty of big cities. In the summer of 1897 he took a job as a reporter for the Toronto Mail and Empire and made a study of conditions in the garment industry. He found that the contractors for postmen's uniforms ran some of the worst sweatshops. King told the facts to the postmaster general, Sir William Mulock, who was a family friend, and

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