Lester B. Pearson

By: Mariam Ahmed

Biographical Information

  • Lester Bowles Pearson
  • Born: April 23rd, 1897
  • Died: December 27th, 1972 in Ottawa, Ontario
  • Received a balanced education in politics as he learned the conservative position from his father and the liberal position from his mother.

International Involvement

  • Served in World War I (1914-1918)
  • Joined Canadian foreign service in 1928 and became first secretary in department of external affairs
  • Received Nobel Peace Prize for diplomatic efforts in facilitating Britain and France’s departure from Egypt during the Suez Crisis
  • He headed the Canadian delegation to the UN from 1946 to 1956 and was elected to the presidency of the Seventh Session of the General Assembly in 1952-1953.

It has too often been too easy for rulers and governments to incite man to war. -Lester B Pearson

Legal Issues

  • Became leader of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1958
  • Was elected Prime Minister in 1963 and remained in office until 1968
  • Pearson's minority governments introduced:
  • Universal health care
  • Student loans
  • Bilingualism
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Canadian Flag ( Pearson faced much opposition from John Diefenbaker)

  • Pearson resisted U.S. pressure to enter the Vietnam War (Showed how firm he was in maintaining his beliefs and what he believed to be Canada's values)
  • He started a number of Royal Commissions; one on the status of women and another on bilingualism
  • Those Royal Commissions had instituted changes that helped create legal equality for women, and brought official bilingualism into being. After Pearson, French was made an official language leading the Canadian government to provide services in both languages. ( Big steps made by Pearson as they are a part of our Canadian identity today)
  • Instituted the world's first race-free immigration system opposed to previous ones that had discriminated against certain people, such as Jews and the

Lester B. Pearson was most likely Influenced by Positive Law as they were made with reason and the best-interest of Canadians in mind.

Factors of Change

  • Economic and Demographic ( Student Loans and Pension Plane)
  • Demographic and values (Bilingualism, immigration, universal healthcare)
  • Canadian Identity (Canadian Flag)


Lester B. Pearson was very successful in his efforts as he was highly rewarded for them. The decisions, laws and changes he made still impact us as they have become a part of our identity, proving he always put peace and the well being of Canadians first. He is a highly respected Canadian figure.


  1. Lester Bowles Pearson - Biographical". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 10 Mar 2015. <http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1957/pearson-bio.html>
  2. "Lester B. Pearson." Lester B. Pearson. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://people.canadiancontent.net/politics/lester-b.-pearson.html>
  3. Robert Bothwell. "Lester B. Pearson." The Canadian Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.