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Lester Bowles Pearson

The Right Honourable Lester Bowles Pearson (April 23, 1897 - December 27, 1972) was the fourteenth Prime Minister of Canada from April 22, 1963 to April 20, 1968.

He was born in Newtonbrook[?], Ontario the son of a Methodist preacher.

Lester Pearson entered Victoria College at the University of Toronto in 1914. He lived in residence in Gate House sharing a room with his brother Duke. While at University he became a noted athlete excelling at both ice hockey and rugby. His studies were interrupted, however, when in 1916 he decided to enlist in the Canadian air force and fight in the First World War. After the war, he returned to school receiving his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1919. He went on to Oxford University, where he received a B.A. in modern history in 1923 and an M.A. in 1925.

He married Maryon Moody[?] (1902-1991) in 1925. The couple had one daughter and one son.

After Oxford he returned to Canada and taught history at the University of Toronto before embarking on a career with foreign affairs. He eventually ran for office and was made Foreign Minister in the government of Louis St. Laurent

In 1957, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in defusing the Suez Crisis through the United Nations. The United Nations Peacekeeping Force was Pearson's creation.

He was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1958 and was elected Prime Minister of Canada in 1963. Pearson never had a secure majority in Parliament, but he introduced important social programs, the maple leaf flag, new initiatives in French-English relations, the introduction of universal health care, and the Canada Pension Plan[?]. He also oversaw Canada's 1967 centennial celebrations before retiring.

Lester Pearson died in Ottawa on December 27, 1972 and was buried in the nearby Gatineau Hills in the MacLaren Cemetery, Wakefield, Quebec.

Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau renamed Toronto International Airport in Toronto, Ontario to Pearson International Airport[?] in his honor.

Pearson is also honored by a United World College[?], the Lester B. Pearson College[?] in Victoria, British Columbia and the Lester B. Pearson Schoolboard[?] in Montreal.

Preceded by:
John Diefenbaker
Prime Minister of Canada Followed by:
Pierre Trudeau



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