Item 16 - Letter, from William Lyon Mackenzie King

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Letter, from William Lyon Mackenzie King

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  • 23 Dec. 1937 (Creation)
    King, William Lyon Mackenzie
  • [1938?] (Receipt)
    Buchan, John

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3 p.

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(17 Dec. 1874-22 Jul. 1950)

Biographical history

William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, a grandson of William Lyon Mackenzie, was born in Kitchener (then Berlin), Ontario, 17 December 1874. He attended the University of Toronto (B.A., LL.B., M.A.), the University of Chicago, and Harvard University (M.A., Ph.D.). His field of study was Political Economy, with labour problems as his special interest. In 1900, he was appointed the first Deputy Minister of Labour and editor of the Labour Gazette. In 1908, he resigned to enter the House of Commons and in 1909 he entered the cabinet as the first Minister of Labour. He left politics after his defeat in the election of 1911 and from 1914 to 1917, he worked for the Rockefeller Foundation investigating industrial relations. He re-entered politics in 1919 after he was chosen leader of the Liberal Party. At the end of 1921, he became Prime Minister and held the post (with the exception of three months in 1926) until his party's defeat in the election of 1930.
William Lyon Mackenzie King was Leader of the Opposition until October 1935 when the Liberals came back into power. From that time he was Prime Minister until he retired on 15 November 1948. Mackenzie King had a long political career. He was leader of the Liberal Party for 29 eventful years through the buoyant expansion of the 1920s, the depression of the 1930s, the shock of World War II, and then the post-war reconstruction, and for 21 of these years he was Canada's prime minister. He died 22 July 1950 at his Kingsmere estate.

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Item is a handwritten letter signed by the hand of the author.

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  • English

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  • Folder: 2110, Box 9, File 2, Item 16