He studied at Balliol College, Oxford, after serving in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps during World World War World War II
In 1941, he received a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Manitoba. In 1947, he joined the federal civil service. He worked two years with the Ministry of Mines and Resources before he became a Foreign Services Officer with External Affairs from 1949 to 1955.
From 1953 to 1955, he was with the Canadian delegation at the United Nations.
In 1955, he became the private secretary of George Drew. In 1956, Drew was replaced by John Diefenbaker and he became his private secretary as well.
In 1958, Duff Roblin appointed him Clerk of the Executive Council of Manitoba. He served until he was forced to resign in 1981.