Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: David Eckford Kilgour (1912-1973)


Born at Brandon in 1912, son of James Frederick Kilgour and Geills McCrae (1878-1933), he attended public schools in Brandon and Winnipeg, St. Andrew’s College, and the University of Manitoba (BA). In 1933 he joined the Great West Life Assurance Company, rising to Company Secretary (1943), Secretary of Agencies (1946), Superintendent of Agencies (1947), General Manager and Director of Agencies (1950), General Manager (1954), Vice-President and Managing Director (1958), and President and Chief Executive Officer (1959-1971). He retired in March 1971. He was also Chairman of the Board of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Chairman of the Canadian Council of the National Industrial Conference Board (1966), Chairman of the Canadian Heart Foundation (1965), and positions with various other professional and charitable organizations. He was a Director of the Investors Group and Hudson’s Bay Oil and Gas.

On 3 June 1936, he married Mary Sophia Russell, daughter of William C. Russell and granddaughter of Daniel Alexander Macdonald. They had three children: Geills McCrae Kilgour (wife of Canadian Prime Minister John Turner), David William Kilgour, and Donald Alexander Kilgour. He was a brother-in-law of James Nathaniel Connacher.

He died at Winnipeg on 13 March 1973 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


“Fashionable nuptials at St. George’s start June wedding season,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 June 1936, page 17.

“David Kilgour dies at 60,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 March 1973, page 30.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 15 March 1973, page 40.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 14 July 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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