April 22, 1963 - April 20, 1968
Lester Bowles Pearson (Liberal Party of Canada) became Prime Minister of Canada on April 22, 1963, and served in that office until April 20, 1968. Highlights of his term in office include making Medicare universal in 1966, the creation of the Canada Pension Plan and the adoption of a new national flag, both in 1965. Before becoming Prime Minister, Mr. Pearson was the Leader of the Opposition from 1958 to 1963, President of the United Nations in 1952 and Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1948 to 1957. He was first elected to Parliament in 1948 and prior to that served as Canada's Ambassador to the United States from 1944 to 1946. Mr. Pearson was a career diplomat and in 1957 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his peacekeeping activities around the world. He was born in Newton Brook, Ontario, on April 23, 1897, and died in Ottawa, Ontario, on December 27, 1972.