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Gatineau, April 24, 2012
— Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce that a new set of images
featuring Canada’s 14th Prime Minister, Lester Bowles Pearson, is now available on Flickr.
Lester Bowles Pearson was born in Newton Brook (Toronto), Ontario in 1897. During the First World War, he served as a medical orderly in Greece and then started training as a pilot in England. However, he was struck by a bus during a black out and was sent back to Canada in 1918. He studied at the University of Toronto and at Oxford University before joining the Canadian foreign service in 1927.
Pearson’s diplomatic career spanned 23 years. He served as the first secretary at the Canadian High Commission in Britain from 1935 to 1941; and then moved to the Canadian Embassy in Washington in 1942. Three years later, he served as the Canadian Ambassador to the United States, attending the conference which founded the United Nations in 1945.
Pearson began his political career as a Cabinet Minister for External Affairs under Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. In 1956, Pearson recommended to the United Nations that an international peacekeeping force supervise the withdrawal of British, French and Egyptian forces from the Suez Canal. Canada acted as one of the supervisory forces. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for these efforts that averted another global conflict.
In 1958, Pearson succeeded Louis St. Laurent as leader of the Liberal Party and was elected Prime Minister in 1963. He retired from politics in 1968 and returned to the academic world. Pearson died in 1972.