Lester B. Pearson

14th Prime Minister of Canada, from 1963 to 1968

Lester Bowles "Mike" Pearson PC OM CC OBE (April 23, 1897 – December 27, 1972) was the 14th Prime Minister of Canada from 1963 to 1968. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organizing the first peacekeeping force.

Lester B. Pearson

14th Prime Minister of Canada
In office
22 April 1963 (1963-04-22) – 20 April 1968 (1968-04-20)
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralGeorges Vanier
Roland Michener
Preceded byJohn Diefenbaker
Succeeded byPierre Trudeau
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
In office
16 January 1958 (1958-01-16) – 6 April 1968 (1968-04-06)
Preceded byLouis St. Laurent
Succeeded byPierre Trudeau
Leader of the Opposition
In office
16 January 1958 (1958-01-16) – 22 April 1963 (1963-04-22)
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterJohn Diefenbaker
Preceded byLouis St. Laurent
Succeeded byJohn Diefenbaker
8th Secretary of State for External Affairs
In office
10 September 1948 (1948-09-10) – 20 June 1957 (1957-06-20)
Prime MinisterW. L. Mackenzie King
Louis St. Laurent
Preceded byLouis St. Laurent
Succeeded byJohn Diefenbaker
2nd Canadian Ambassador to the United States
In office
Prime MinisterW. L. Mackenzie King
Preceded byLeighton McCarthy
Succeeded byH. H. Wrong
8th President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
Preceded byLuis Padilla Nervo
Succeeded byVijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Member of Parliament
for Algoma East
In office
25 October 1948 (1948-10-25) – 23 April 1968 (1968-04-23)
Preceded byThomas Farquhar
Succeeded byNone (district abolished)
Personal details
Lester Bowles Pearson

(1897-04-23)23 April 1897
Newtonbrook, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died27 December 1972(1972-12-27) (aged 75)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Resting placeMacLaren Cemetery, Wakefield, Quebec
Political partyLiberal
Maryon Moody (m. 1925)
Children2, including Geoffrey Pearson
ProfessionDiplomat, historian, soldier
AwardsNobel Prize for Peace (1957)
Military service
Allegiance Canada
Years of service1915–18
Battles/warsWorld War I

As Prime Minister, Pearson's government created universal health care and the Canada Pension Plan. They also created the Canada Student Loan Program, the Order of Canada, and changed the flag of Canada to the one with maple leaves. Pearson kept Canada from fighting in the Vietnam War and de facto stopped capital punishment from being used in Canada. Many people think he is one of the most important Canadians of the 20th century.[1][2]

Early life change

Pearson was born in Newtonbrook, Ontario, the son of Edwin Arthur Pearson, a Methodist minister and Anne Sarah Bowles. He went to the University of Toronto and Oxford University. Pearson was ambassador to the United States and the United Nations. He played for the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club while on a scholarship at Oxford University.

Political career change

Pearson entered politics in 1948, as Minister of External Affairs in the Liberal government of Louis St. Laurent. He became leader of the Liberal Party in 1958. He lost two elections as leader, until winning a third to become Prime Minister in 1963. His government brought in social programs and new standards for workers. Pearson signed the Canada-United States Automotive Agreement, also called the Auto Pact. He retired in 1968. The next Prime Minister was Pierre Trudeau.

Death change

Pearson died from liver cancer in Ottawa, Canada, aged 75.

References change

  1. MacDonald, L. Ian. "The Best Prime Minister of the Last 50 Years — Pearson, by a landslide", Policy Options, June–July 2003. Accessed 3 April 2014.
  2. S. Azzi, N. Hillmer. "Ranking Canada's best and worst prime ministers",Maclean's, October 2016. Accessed 27 May 2017

Other websites change

  Media related to Lester B. Pearson at Wikimedia Commons