Rogers was a Queen's politics professor who went on to become a prominent member of Prime Minister Mackenzie King's cabinet and Queen's Rector (1937-1940) before his early death in a plane crash. He was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia and educated at Acadia and Oxford Universities, interrupting his studies to serve in the First World War.
He taught history at Acadia University from 1922 to 1927 and then served as private secretary to Prime Minister Mackenzie King from 1927 to 1929. From Ottawa, he moved to Queen's, teaching politics in the Department of Political and Economic Science (now separate departments) until 1935 and writing a biography of King and a series of groundbreaking monographs on cabinet government and federalism.
In 1935, he was elected Member of Parliament for Kingston and appointed Minister of Labour. In 1937, he was voted in as Queen's Rector. The leading progressive Liberal in King's cabinet, he was appointed Minister of National Defence in 1939 and served in this important post during the first part of the Second World War.
His death in 1940 in a plane crash shocked Queen's and Canada. After his death, the Kingston airport was renamed in his honour. His nephew, Norman MacLeod Rogers (not "McLeod," like his uncle), became a prominent Toronto lawyer who served as Chair of Queen's Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1985.
Norman McLeod Roger's personal records can be found at Queen's University Archives.