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The Right Honourable
 Lester Bowles Pearson 
PC CC OBE OM MA

Lester B. Pearson, 1944

In office
22 April 1963 – 20 April 1968
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by John Diefenbaker
Succeeded by Pierre Trudeau

In office
25 October 1948 – 23 April 1968
Preceded by Thomas Farquhar
Succeeded by None (district abolished)

Born April 23, 1897(1897 -04-23)
Newtonbrook, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died December 27, 1972 (aged 75)
Ottawa, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Maryon Pearson
Children Geoffrey, Patricia
Alma mater University of Toronto (B.A.)
University of Oxford (B.A.)
University of Oxford (M.A.)
Profession Soldier, Diplomat, Academic, Historian
Religion Methodist, then United Church of Canada
Signature
Military service
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (1957)
Ice hockey in Europe; Oxford University vs. Switzerland, 1922. Future Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson is at right front. His nickname from the Swiss was 'Herr Zig-Zag'.

Lester Bowles "Mike" Pearson, PC, OM, CC, OBE (23 April 1897 – 27 December 1972) was a Canadian professor, historian, civil servant, statesman, diplomat, and politician, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis. He was the 14th Prime Minister of Canada from 22 April 1963, until 20 April 1968, as the head of two back-to-back minority governments following elections in 1963 and 1965.

During his time as Prime Minister, Pearson's minority government introduced universal health care, student loans, the Canada Pension Plan, the Order of Canada, and the current Canadian flag. During his tenure, Prime Minister Pearson also convened the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. With these accomplishments, together with his groundbreaking work at the United Nations and in international diplomacy, Pearson is generally considered among the most influential Canadians of the 20th century.

Contents

Early years

Pearson was born in Newtonbrook, Ontario (now part of metropolitan Toronto), the son of Edwin Arthur Pearson, a Methodist (later United Church of Canada) minister and Anne Sarah Bowles. He graduated from Hamilton Collegiate Institute in Hamilton, Ontario in 1913 at the age of 16. Later that same year, he entered Victoria College at the University of Toronto,[citation needed] where he lived in residence in Gate House and shared a room with his brother Duke. While at the University of Toronto, he joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He was subsequently elected to the Pi Gamma Mu social science honour society's chapter at the University of Toronto for his outstanding scholastic performance in history and sociology.[citation needed]

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Outstanding sportsman

At U of T, he became a noted athlete, excelling in rugby union, and also playing basketball. He later also played for the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club while on a scholarship at the University of Oxford, a team that won the first-ever Spengler Cup in 1923. Pearson also excelled in baseball and lacrosse as a youth, played golf and tennis as an adult, and as a result had the most intense and wide-ranging sporting interests of any Canadian prime minister. His baseball talents were sufficient enough for a summer of semi-pro play with the Guelph Maple Leafs of the Ontario Intercounty Baseball League.[1]

First World War

When the First World War broke out in 1914, he volunteered for service as a Medical Orderly with the University of Toronto Hospital Unit. In 1915, he undertook overseas service with the Canadian Army Medical Corps as a stretcher bearer with the rank of Private, and had a subsequent commissioning to the rank of Lieutenant. During this period of service he spent two years in Egypt and Greece. In 1917, Pearson transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (as the Royal Canadian Air Force did not exist at that time), where he served as a Flying Officer until being sent home with injuries from two accidents; while training as a pilot at an air training school in Hendon, England, Pearson survived an airplane crash during his first flight. Unfortunately, in 1918, he was hit by a London bus during a blackout and was sent home as an invalid to recuperate, and was then discharged from the service. It was as a pilot that he received the nickname of "Mike", given to him by a flight instructor who felt that "Lester" was too mild a name for an airman. Thereafter, Pearson would use the name "Lester" on official documents and in public life, but was always addressed as "Mike" by friends and family.[2]

Interwar years

After the war, he returned to school, receiving his BA from the University of Toronto in 1919; he was able to complete his degree after one more term, under a ruling in force at the time, since he had served in the military during the war. He then spent a year working in Hamilton and Chicago, in the meat-packing industry, which he did not enjoy. Upon receiving a scholarship from the Massey Foundation, he studied for two years at St John's College at the University of Oxford, where he received a Second-Class BA in modern history in 1923, and the MA in 1925. After Oxford, he returned to Canada and taught history at the University of Toronto, where he also coached the Varsity Blues Canadian football team, and the Varsity Blues men's ice hockey team. In 1925, he married Maryon Moody (1901-1989), who was one of his students at the University of Toronto. Together, they had one daughter, Patricia, and one son, Geoffrey.[3]

Diplomat

In 1927, after scoring the top marks on the Canadian foreign service entry exam, he then embarked on a career in the Department of External Affairs.[1] Pearson was posted to London in the late 1930s, and served there as World War II began in 1939, until 1942 as the second-in-command at Canada House, where he coordinated military supply and refugee issues, serving under High Commissioner Vincent Massey.[1] Pearson returned to Ottawa for a few months. He was assistant under secretary in Ottawa from 1941 until 1942.[4] In June 1942 he was posted to the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. as ministerial counsellor.[4] He served as second-in-command for nearly two years. Promoted minister plenipotentiary, 1944, he became Canada's ambassador to the United States on January 1, 1945, until September 1946.[1][5] He had an important part in founding both the United Nations and NATO.[6] During the Second World War, he once served as a courier with the codename "Mike." He went on to become the first director of Signal Intelligence.

Pearson nearly became the first secretary-general of the United Nations in 1945, but this possibility was vetoed by the Soviet Union.[7]

Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King tried to recruit Pearson into his government as the war wound down. Pearson felt honoured by King's approach, but resisted at the time, due to his personal dislike of King's interpersonal style and political methods.[8] Pearson would not make the move into politics until a few years later, after King had announced his retirement as prime minister.

Early political career

Lester B. Pearson quote on Peacekeeping Monument
Statue on Parliament Hill grounds

In 1948, Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent appointed Pearson Minister of External Affairs in the Liberal government. Shortly afterward, he won a seat in the Canadian House of Commons, for the federal riding of Algoma East.

Wins Nobel Peace Prize

In 1957, for his role in defusing the Suez Crisis through the United Nations, Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The selection committee claimed that Pearson had "saved the world." The United Nations Emergency Force was Pearson's creation, and he is considered the father of the modern concept of peacekeeping. Leaders of the United States, France, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain (for best example) all had vested interests in the natural resources around the Suez Canal. Pearson was able to organize these leaders by way of a five-day fly-around, and was by effect responsible for the development of the structure for the United Nations Security Council. His Nobel medal is on permanent display in the front lobby of the Lester B. Pearson Building, the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa.

Party leadership

After the resignation of Louis St. Laurent, Pearson was elected leader of the Liberal Party at its 1958 leadership convention, defeating his chief rival, cabinet minister Paul Joseph James Martin.

As the newly-elected leader of the Liberals, Mr. Pearson had given an ill-advised speech in the House of Commons that asked Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to give power back to the Liberals without an election, because of a recent economic downturn. This strategy backfired when Diefenbaker seized on the error by showing a classified Liberal document saying that the economy would face a downturn in that year. This contrasted heavily with the Liberal's 1957 campaign promises.

Consequently, Pearson's party was badly routed in the election of that year, losing over half their seats, while Diefenbaker's Conservatives won the largest majority ever seen in Canada to that point (208 of 265 seats). The election also cost the Liberals their Quebec stronghold; the province had voted largely Liberal in federal elections since the Conscription Crisis of 1917, but upon the resignation of former Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent, the province had no favourite son leader, as they had had since 1948.

Pearson convened a significant 'Thinkers' Conference' at Kingston, Ontario in 1960, which developed many of the ideas later implemented when he became prime minister.[9]

In the 1962 election, his party reduced the Progressive Conservative Party of John Diefenbaker to a minority government.

Not long after the election, Pearson capitalized on the Conservatives' indecision on installing nuclear warheads on Bomarc missiles. Minister of National Defence Douglas Harkness resigned from Cabinet on 4 February 1963, because of Diefenbaker's opposition to accepting the missiles. The next day, the government lost two non-confidence motions on the issue, prompting the election.

Prime Minister

Pearson led the Liberals to a minority government in the 1963 general election, and became prime minister. He had campaigned during the election promising "60 Days of Decision" and support for the Bomarc missile program.

Pearson never had a majority in the Canadian House of Commons, but he nevertheless managed to bring in many of Canada's major social programs, including universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan and Canada Student Loans, and established a new national flag, the Maple Leaf. This was due in part to support for his minority government in the House of Commons from the New Democratic Party, led by Tommy Douglas. His legislation included instituting the 40-hour work week, two weeks vacation time and a new minimum wage.

Pearson signed the Canada-United States Automotive Agreement (or Auto Pact) in January 1965, and unemployment fell to its lowest rate in over a decade.[10] While in office, Pearson declined U.S. requests to send Canadian combat troops into the Vietnam War. Pearson spoke at Temple University in Philadelphia on 2 April 1965, while visiting the United States and voiced his support for a pause in the American bombing of North Vietnam, so that a diplomatic solution to the crisis may unfold. To the Johnson administration, this criticism of American foreign policy on US soil was an intolerable sin. Before Pearson had finished his speech, he was summoned to Camp David to meet with Johnson the next day. Johnson, who was notorious for his personal touch in politics, reportedly grabbed Pearson by the lapels and shouted, "Don't you come into my living room and piss on my rug."[11][12] Pearson later recounted that the meeting was acrimonious, but insisted the two parted cordially. After this incident, LBJ and Pearson did have further contacts, including two further meetings together, both times in Canada (the country would profit immensely from the Vietnam War, through increased sales of the raw materials and resources that would fuel and sustain the U.S. military machine).[13] Elderly Canadians often remember the Pearson years as a time Canada-U.S. relations greatly improved.[14]

Pearson also started a number of Royal Commissions, including one on the status of women and another on bilingualism. They instituted changes that helped create legal equality for women, and brought official bilingualism into being. After Pearson, French was made an official language, and the Canadian government would provide services in both. Pearson himself had hoped that he would be the last unilingual Prime Minister of Canada and, indeed, fluency in both English and French became an unofficial requirement for Prime Ministerial candidates after Pearson left office.

His government endured significant controversy in Canada's military services throughout the mid-1960s, following the tabling of the White Paper on Defence in March 1964. This document laid out a plan to merge the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Canadian Army to form a single service called the Canadian Armed Forces. Military unification took effect on 1 February 1968, when The Canadian Forces Reorganization Act received Royal Assent.

Pearson was also remarkable for instituting the world's first race-free immigration system[citation needed], throwing out previous ones that had discriminated against certain people, such as Jews and the Chinese. His points-based system encouraged immigration to Canada, and a similar system is still in place today.

Pearson also oversaw Canada's centennial celebrations in 1967 before retiring. The Canadian news agency, The Canadian Press, named him "Newsmaker of the Year" that year, citing his leadership during the centennial celebrations, which brought the Centennial Flame to Parliament Hill.

Also in 1967, the President of France, Charles de Gaulle made a visit to Quebec. During that visit, de Gaulle was a staunch advocate of Quebec separatism, even going so far as to say that his procession in Montreal reminded him of his return to Paris after it was freed from the Nazis during the Second World War. President de Gaulle also gave his "Vive le Québec libre" speech during the visit. Given Canada's efforts in aid of France during both world wars, Pearson was enraged. He rebuked de Gaulle in a speech the following day, remarking that "Canadians do not need to be liberated" and making it clear that de Gaulle was no longer welcome in Canada. The French President returned to his home country and would never visit Canada again. Nevertheless, with the rise of French-Canadian nationalism in Quebec, the Pearson government would give influential francophone Liberals, who decried so-called English-speaking domination, more power in Ottawa and the federal bureaucracy.

Supreme Court appointments

Pearson chose the following jurists to be appointed as justices of the Supreme Court of Canada by the Governor General:

Retirement

Pearson, and three of his cabinet ministers who later became Prime Ministers. From left to right, Pierre Trudeau, John Turner, Jean Chrétien, and Pearson.
Pearson's gravestone in Wakefield, Quebec

After his announcement on 14 December 1967, that he was retiring from politics, a leadership convention was held. Pearson's successor was Pierre Trudeau, whom Pearson had recruited and made Minister of Justice in his cabinet. Trudeau later became Prime Minister, and two other cabinet ministers Pearson had recruited, John Turner and Jean Chrétien, served as prime ministers in the years following Trudeau's retirement. Paul Martin Jr., the son of Pearson's minister of external affairs, Paul Martin Sr., also went on to become prime minister.

Pearson served as Chairman of the Commission on International Development (the Pearson Commission) which was sponsored by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (The World Bank)from 1968-69. He then served as Chancellor of Carleton University in Ottawa from 1969 until his death in 1972. Pearson is buried just north of Gatineau, in Wakefield, Quebec in Maclaren Cemetery, next to his close External Affairs colleagues H. H. Wrong and Norman Robertson.

Honours and awards

Honorary degrees

Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Ambassador to the United States, at University of Toronto convocation, 1945

Lester B. Pearson received Honorary Degrees from 48 Universities, including:

Schools named after LBP

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Shadow of Heaven: The Life of Lester Pearson, volume 1, 1897-1948, by John English, 1989.
  2. ^ The Nobel Foundation. Lester B. Pearson Biography. Nobelprize.org. Retrieved on: October 13, 2008.
  3. ^ Shadow of Heaven: The Life of Lester Pearson, volume 1, 1897-1948, by John English.
  4. ^ a b "Pearson, Lester Bowles", Encyclopedia Canadiana, vol. 8, Ottawa, 1972, Grolier, 135.
  5. ^ "Pearson, Lester Bowles," Encyclopedia Canadiana, vol. 8, Ottawa, 1972, Grolier, 135.
  6. ^ "He attended many international conferences and was active in the UN from its inception." and "He signed the North Atlantic Treaty for Canada in 1949 and represented his country at subsequent NATO Council meetings, acting as chairman in 1951-1952." See, "Pearson, Lester Bowles", Encyclopedia Canadiana, vol. 8, Ottawa, 1972, Grolier, 135.
  7. ^ Shadow of Heaven: The Life of Lester Pearson, volume 1, 1897-1948, by John English, Vintage Publishers, 1989.
  8. ^ Mr. Prime Minister 1867-1964, by Bruce Hutchison, Toronto 1964, Longmans Canada publishers.
  9. ^ Citizen of the World: The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, volume 1, by John English, Toronto 2006, Knopf Canada publishers.
  10. ^ http://ms.radio-canada.ca/archives/2002/en/wmv/autopact19650107et1.wmv
  11. ^ Staff. "The Week", National Review, December 23, 2002. Accessed February 4, 2009.
  12. ^ The View From Out There (washingtonpost.com)
  13. ^ "Strong exports to the United States resulting from the mounting demands of the war in Vietnam, combined with a booming domestic market, made 1966 a year of impressive economic growth for Canada." Britannica Book of the Year: 1967, Chicago 1967, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 191.
  14. ^ PRESIDENTIAL VISITS WITH HEADS OF STATE AND CHIEFS OF GOVERNMENT
  15. ^ http://www.lbpsb.qc.ca/isp/About%20Us
  16. ^ http://www.cityofelliotlake.com/civiccentre.html
  17. ^ http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_Toronto/Plaque_Toronto90.html

References

  • Beal, John Robinson. Pearson of Canada. 1964.
  • Beal, John Robinson and Poliquin, Jean-Marc. Les trois vies de Pearson of Canada. 1968.
  • Bliss, Michael. Right Honourable Men: the descent of Canadian politics from Macdonald to Mulroney, 1994.
  • Bothwell, Robert. Pearson, His Life and World. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1978. ISBN 0-07-082305-7.
  • Bowering, George. Egotists and Autocrats: The Prime Ministers of Canada, 1997.
  • Champion, C.P. (2006) "A Very British Coup: Canadianism, Quebec and Ethnicity in the Flag Debate, 1964-1965." Journal of Canadian Studies 40.3, pp. 68–99.
  • Champion, C.P. "Mike Pearson at Oxford: War, Varsity, and Canadianism," Canadian Historical Review, 88, 2, June 2007, 263-90.
  • Donaldson, Gordon. The Prime Ministers of Canada, 1999.
  • English, John. Shadow of Heaven: The Life of Lester Pearson, Volume I, 1897-1948. Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1989. ISBN 0-88619-169-6.
  • English, John. The Worldly Years: The Life of Lester Pearson, Volume II, 1949-1972. Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1992. ISBN 0-394-22729-8.
  • Ferguson, Will. Bastards and Boneheads: Canada's Glorious Leaders, Past and Present, 1997.
  • Fry, Michael G. Freedom and Change: Essays in Honour of Lester B. Pearson. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1975. ISBN 0-7710-3187-
  • Hillmer, Norman and J.L. Granatstein, Prime Ministers: Rating Canada's Leaders, 2001.
  • Hutchison, Bruce. Mr. Prime Minister 1867-1964, Toronto: Longmans Canada, 1964.
  • Stursberg, Peter. Lester Pearson and the Dream of Unity. Toronto: Doubleday, 1978. ISBN 0-385-13478-9.
  • Thordarson, Bruce. Lester Pearson: Diplomat and Politician. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1974. ISBN 0-19-540225-1.

Writings

  • Pearson, Lester B. Canada: Nation on the March. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1953.
  • Pearson, Lester B. The Crisis of Development. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970.
  • Pearson, Lester B. Diplomacy in the Nuclear Age. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1959.
  • Pearson, Lester B. The Four Faces of Peace and the International Outlook. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964.
  • Pearson, Lester B. Mike : The Memoirs of the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972. ISBN 0-575-01709-0 .
  • Pearson, Lester B. Peace in the Family of Man. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. ISBN 0-563-08449-9.
  • Pearson, Lester B. Words and Occasions: An Anthology of Speeches and Articles. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970. ISBN 0-674-95611-7.

External links

19th Ministry - Government of Lester B. Pearson
Cabinet Posts (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
John Diefenbaker Prime Minister of Canada
1963–1968
Pierre Trudeau
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Leighton McCarthy
Canadian Ambassador to the United States of America
1944–1946
Succeeded by
H. H. Wrong
Preceded by
Luis Padilla Nervo
President of the United Nations General Assembly
1952–1953
Succeeded by
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Political offices
Preceded by
Louis St. Laurent
Secretary of State for External Affairs
1948–1957
Succeeded by
John Diefenbaker
Preceded by
Louis St. Laurent
Leader of the Opposition
1957-1963
Succeeded by
John Diefenbaker
Preceded by
Thomas Farquhar
Member for Algoma East
1948–1968
Succeeded by
none (riding merged into Algoma)
Party political offices
Preceded by
Louis St. Laurent
Leader of the Liberal Party
1958–1968
Succeeded by
Pierre Trudeau
Academic offices
Preceded by
Jack Mackenzie
Chancellor of Carleton University
1969–1972
Succeeded by
Gerhard Herzberg

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.

Lester Bowles "Mike" Pearson (23 April 189727 December 1972) was a Canadian statesman, diplomat and politician who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. He was also the 14th Prime Minister of Canada from April 22, 1963, until April 20, 1968, as the head of two back-to-back minority governments following elections in 1963 and 1965.

Contents

Sourced

  • Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.
    • As quoted in a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation tribute (1972), and in Chambers Dictionary of Political Biography‎ (1991) by John Ransley, p. 345

Nobel Prize acceptance (1957)

Address on accepting the Nobel Peace Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway (10 December 1957)
  • Alfred Nobel decreed that this award should be conferred on someone who, in the opinion of the Committee, should have done the most or the best work to promote fraternity between nations for the abolition and reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.
    As to the first, I do not know that I have done very much myself to promote fraternity between nations but I do know that there can be no more important purpose for any man's activity or interests.
    So far as abolishing arms are concerned, those of Nobel's day are now out of date, but I know, as you do, that if the arms which man's genius has created today to replace them are ever used they will destroy us all. So they must be themselves destroyed.
    As for the promotion of peace congresses we have had our meetings and assemblies, but the promotion through them of the determined and effective will to peace displaying itself in action and policy remains to be achieved.
  • Of all our dreams today there is none more important — or so hard to realise — than that of peace in the world. May we never lose our faith in it or our resolve to do everything that can be done to convert it one day into reality.

The Four Faces of Peace (1957)

Nobel Lecture (11 December 1957)
  • True there has been more talk of peace since 1945 than, I should think, at any other time in history. At least we hear more and read more about it because man's words, for good or ill, can now so easily reach the millions.
    Very often the words are good and even inspiring, the embodiment of our hopes and our prayers for peace. But while we all pray for peace, we do not always, as free citizens, support the policies that make for peace or reject those which do not. We want our own kind of peace, brought about in our own way.
    The choice, however, is as clear now for nations as it was once for the individual: peace or extinction. The life of states cannot, any more than the life of individuals, be conditioned by the force and the will of a unit, however powerful, but by the consensus of a group, which must one day include all states. Today the predatory state, or the predatory group of states, with power of total destruction, is no more to be tolerated than the predatory individual.
  • Until the last great war, a general expectation of material improvement was an idea peculiar to Western man. Now war and its aftermath have made economic and social progress a political imperative in every quarter of the globe. If we ignore this, there will be no peace. There has been a widening of horizons to which in the West we have been perhaps too insensitive. Yet it is as important as the extension of our vision into outer space.
    Today continuing poverty and distress are a deeper and more important cause of international tensions, of the conditions that can produce war, than previously. On the other hand, if the new and constructive forces which are at work among areas and people, stagnant and subdued only a few years ago, can be directed along the channels of cooperation and peaceful progress, it should strengthen mankind's resistance to fear, to irrational impulse, to resentment, to war.

External links

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The Right Honourable
 Lester Bowles Pearson 
PC CC OBE OM MA
File:Lester B. Pearson with a

Lester B. Pearson, 1944


In office
April 22, 1963 – April 20, 1968
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by John Diefenbaker
Succeeded by Pierre Trudeau

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Algoma East
In office
October 25, 1948 – April 23, 1968
Preceded by Thomas Farquhar
Succeeded by None (district abolished)

Born April 23, 1897 (1897 -04-23)
Newtonbrook, Toronto, Ontario
Died December 27, 1972 (aged 75)
Ottawa, Ontario
Political party Liberal
Spouse Maryon Pearson
Children Geoffrey, Patricia
Alma mater MA (Oxon) BA (Oxon) BA (Tor)
Profession Soldier, Diplomat, Academic
Religion Methodist, then United Church of Canada
Signature File:Lester B Pearson Signature
Military service
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (1957)

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. He also changed the flag of Canada.

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.

Prime Ministers of Canada
Macdonald | Mackenzie | Macdonald | Abbott | Thompson | Bowell | Tupper | Laurier | Borden | Meighen | King | Meighen | King | Bennett | King | St. Laurent | Diefenbaker | Pearson | Trudeau | Clark | Trudeau | Turner | Mulroney | Campbell | Chrétien | Martin | Harper


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