- James Horace King
Born in Chipman,
New Brunswick, James King was the son of George Gerald King, a businessman and Canadian politician in his own right. The elder King was a Liberal Member of Parliamentin the nineteenth century, and a Senator from 1896 until his death in 1928.
The younger King earned his MD from
McGill Universityin 1895. After practicing medicine for a short period in New Brunswick, he moved to the Kootenayregion of British Columbiain 1898 serving a large rural territory. In 1910, he attended an international medical conference in Budapest, and played a leading role in establishing the American College of Surgeonsin Chicago, serving as a governor of the college. In 1932, he was created a Knightof Grace of the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem for his services to medicine.
In 1903, King was elected as a
British Columbia Liberal Partymember of the British Columbia Legislative Assemblyfor the riding of Cranbrook and was re-elected in 1907 before leaving provincial politics in 1909 to return to medicine.
A supporter of Sir
Wilfrid Laurier, King was a Liberal candidate in the 1911 federal election but was defeated in the riding of Kootenay. He returned to the provincial legislature in 1916, joining the provincial cabinetas Minister of Public Works. He served in that portfolio until 1922 when he was offered a federal Cabinet position by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. J.H. King became Minister of Public Works shortly before winning a by-electionto enter the Canadian House of Commonsas MP for Kootenay East.
In 1926, King became Minister of Soldiers’ Civil Reestablishment and minister responsible for the Department of Health. In 1928, he became the country's first Minister of Pensions and National Health. He was appointed to the Senate on Prime Minister Mackenzie King's recommendation on
June 7, 1930, shortly before the defeat of Mackenzie King's government.
In 1942, King returned to Cabinet as
Leader of the Government in the Canadian Senate. In this capacity ,he attended the June 1945 San Francisco Conferencethat established the United Nations. In August 1945, he was appointed Speaker of the Canadian Senatecharing sessions of the upper houseuntil 1949. He then served as co-chairman of the joint Senate-House of Commons Committee on Old Age Security which reported in 1950. King remained a Senator until his death in 1955.
* [http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/people/key/bio.asp?lang=E&query=2289&s=M Political biography from the Library of Parliament]
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