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Lester B. Pearson

PC OM CC OBE
Lester Pearson 1957.jpg
Pearson in 1957
14th Prime Minister of Canada
In office
22 April 1963 (1963-04-22) – 20 April 1968 (1968-04-20)
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Georges Vanier
Roland Michener
Preceded by John Diefenbaker
Succeeded by Pierre Trudeau
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
In office
16 January 1958 (1958-01-16) – 6 April 1968 (1968-04-06)
Preceded by Louis St. Laurent
Succeeded by Pierre Trudeau
Leader of the Opposition
In office
16 January 1958 (1958-01-16) – 22 April 1963 (1963-04-22)
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister John Diefenbaker
Preceded by Louis St. Laurent
Succeeded by John Diefenbaker
8th Secretary of State for External Affairs
In office
10 September 1948 (1948-09-10) – 20 June 1957 (1957-06-20)
Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King
Louis St. Laurent
Preceded by Louis St. Laurent
Succeeded by John Diefenbaker
2nd Canadian Ambassador to the United States
In office
1944–1946
Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King
Preceded by Leighton McCarthy
Succeeded by H. H. Wrong
8th President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
1952
Preceded by Luis Padilla Nervo
Succeeded by Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Algoma East
In office
25 October 1948 (1948-10-25) – 23 April 1968 (1968-04-23)
Preceded by Thomas Farquhar
Succeeded by None (district abolished)
Personal details
Born
Lester Bowles Pearson

(1897-04-23)23 April 1897
Newtonbrook, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died 27 December 1972(1972-12-27) (aged 75)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Resting place MacLaren Cemetery, Wakefield, Quebec
Nationality Canadian
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s)
Maryon Moody (m. 1925)
Children 2, including Geoffrey Pearson
Education
Profession Diplomat, historian, soldier
Awards Nobel Prize for Peace (1957)
Signature
Military service
Nickname(s) "Mike"
Allegiance  Canada
Branch/service
Years of service 1915–18
Rank
Battles/wars World War I

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.

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.

Early life

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

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

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


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