David Kilgour was born in Winnipeg in 1941. He matriculated from St-John's Ravenscourt School with the Governor General's Medal. He earned an economics degree from the University of Manitoba and a law degree from the University of Toronto in 1966.
Prior to entering politics, Mr. Kilgour was a senior agent of the Alberta Attorney General and a constitutional advisor to the Government of Alberta, Crown Attorney for the Dauphin Judicial District in Manitoba, senior advisory counsel for the Department of Justice in Ottawa, and an assistant city prosecutor in Vancouver.
Mr. Kilgour was first elected to the House of Commons in 1979 for the Alberta riding of Edmonton-Strathcona, and was re-elected in 1980 and 1984. He was elected in the riding of Edmonton Southeast in 1988, 1993, 1997 and 2000.
In January, 1991, on joining the Liberal Party, Mr. Kilgour was appointed Opposition Energy Critic. In 1994, he was appointed Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and Chairman of Committees of the Whole House. He was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council and Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) on June 11, 1997.
From January 15, 2002, until December 12, 2003, Mr. Kilgour served as Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific). On February 13, 2004, he was elected vice-chair of the Canada-U.S. Inter-Parliamentary Group, and he is also serving on the Agriculture and Health Committees.
Mr. Kilgour married Laura Scott, a lawyer, in June 1974. They have four children.