Lester Bowles "Mike" Pearson, PC, OM, CC, OBE was a Canadian professor, historian, civil servant, statesman, diplomat, and politician, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis. He was the 14th Prime Minister of Canada from 22 April 1963 to 20 April 1968, as the head of two back-to-back minority governments following elections in 1963 and 1965.
During Pearson's time as Prime Minister, his minority government introduced universal health care, student loans, the Canada Pension Plan, the Order of Canada, and the current Canadian flag. Pearson also convened the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism and struggled to keep Canada out of the Vietnam War. In 1967, his government passed Bill C-168, de facto abolishing capital punishment in Canada. With these accomplishments, together with his ground-breaking work at the United Nations and in international diplomacy, Pearson is generally considered among the most influential Canadians of the 20th century.