Macgregor was born in Glasgow to George Macgregor and Agnes Murray. He studied at Glasgow University graduating MA BSc in 1908. He joined HM Geological Survey, where he remained for life. In 1921, he succeeded L. W. Hinxman as District Geologist for the Scottish coalfields. In 1922, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were John Horne, Ben Peach, Thomas James Jehu, and Robert Campbell. In 1925, he became Assistant Director for Scotland. Glasgow University awarded him an honorary doctorate (DSc) in 1931.
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