Birthplace of Lester Pearson Lester Bowles "Mike" Pearson, scholar, diplomat and statesman, was born in his parent's home, the Wesleyan Methodist Church manse, which stood on this site in the then village of Newtonbrook, on April 23, 1897. He joined the Department of External Affairs in 1928, becoming First Secretary of the Canadian High Commission in London (1935-41) and Ambassador to the United States (1945-46). He was Member of Parliament for Algoma East and Minister of External Affairs in the government of Louis St. Laurent (1948-1957) where he was instrumental in the founding of NATO (1949) and the Korean Armistice (1953). He was President of the United Nations General Assembly (1952-53) and the architect of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Suez for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. Elected leader of the Liberal Party in 1958, he became Prime Minister of Canada in 1963. His government (1963-68) left a legacy of reform and pioneering social legislation which included the Canada Pension Plan, universal health care, the Canada Student Loan Plan, a new Canadian flag, and the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism. Mr. Pearson died in Ottawa on December 27, 1972.