Lester Bowles Pearson (1897-1972)

L.B. Pearson

L.B. Pearson serving with the Canadian Forces, Salonika Base, Greece, 1916. and two unidentified officers. Private L.B. Pearson served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) while in Greece. The look on his face perhaps portrays the boredom that he experienced at this posting. He later joined the Royal Flying Corps and transferred to England for aerial training. Like John Diefenbaker, his political rival, Pearson never saw combat in the First World War. During the confusion of an air raid, he was struck by a London omnibus ending his military career. Library and Archives Canada, PA-117622

​Former Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lester B. Pearson, served during the First World War in both the Canadian Army Medical and the Royal Flying Corps. After the War, Pearson continued with his academic studies and in the 1920s lectured in history at the University of Toronto.

In the late 1920s, Pearson started what was to be a long and productive career in the Department of External Affairs. In the late 1950s, he became the leader of the Liberal Party and succeeded John Diefenbaker to become the fourteenth Prime Minister of Canada. Two notable achievements of Pearson's government were the introduction of the Canada Pension Plan and the creation of a new national flag, now known the world-over as the quintessential symbol of Canada.

Born in Newtonbrook, Ontario in 1897, Pearson died in Ottawa in 1972.

Date modified: