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Bust of William Lyon Mackenzie King

Bust of William Lyon Mackenzie King

William Lyon Mackenzie King was born December 11, 1874 in Berlin, Ontario. He was the eldest son in a close-knit family, with two sisters and one brother. He was named after his maternal grand-father, William Lyon Mackenzie. Mackenzie had been a leader of the Rebellion of 1837 and King came to consider himself his grandfather’s political heir.

King graduated from the University of Toronto in 1895 and went on to study economics at Chicago and Harvard. In 1900 he returned to Canada and became Canada’s first Deputy Minister of Labour. He acted as conciliator in a number of strikes and was instrumental in formulating the Industrial Disputes Investigation Act of 1907.