Lester B. PearsonLester Bowles "Mike" Pearson (23 April 1897 – 27 December 1972) was a Canadian politician, diplomat, statesman, and scholar who served as the 14th prime minister of Canada from 1963 to 1968.
Born in Newtonbrook, Ontario (now part of Toronto), Pearson pursued a career in the Department of External Affairs. He served as Canadian ambassador to the United States from 1944 to 1946 and secretary of state for external affairs from 1948 to 1957 under Liberal Prime Ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent. He narrowly lost the bid to become secretary-general of the United Nations in 1953. However, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis, which earned him attention worldwide. After the Liberals' defeat in the 1957 federal election, Pearson easily won the leadership of the Liberal Party in 1958. Pearson suffered two consecutive defeats by Progressive Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1958 and 1962, only to successfully challenge him for a third time in the 1963 federal election. Pearson would win re-election in 1965.
Pearson ran two back-to-back minority governments during his tenure, and the Liberals not having a majority in the House of Commons meant he needed support from the opposition parties. With that support, Pearson launched progressive policies such as universal health care, the Canada Student Loan Program, and the Canada Pension Plan. Pearson also introduced the Order of Canada and the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and oversaw the creation of the Maple Leaf flag that was implemented in 1965. His government unified the Canadian Armed Forces and kept Canada out of the Vietnam War. In 1967, Canada became the first country in the world to implement a points-based immigration system. After half a decade in power, Pearson resigned as prime minister and retired from politics.
With his government programs and policies, together with his groundbreaking work at the United Nations and in international diplomacy, which included his role in ending the Suez Crisis, Pearson is generally considered among the most influential Canadians of the 20th century and is ranked among the greatest Canadian prime ministers. Provided by Wikipedia
Published 1969Other Authors: “...Pearson, Lester B....”