|Laster B. and Maryon Pearson at a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, 1957
© National Archives of Canada
Maryon Pearson had the unfortunate luck of being Canada's top political
wife while Jackie Kennedy was revolutionizing the role of political wife
in the U.S. Jackie seemed to be everything Maryon was not: young, pretty,
Maryon chafed at the restrictions of the position, in particular, the attention
to her wardrobe and the requirement to entertain at home.
She was known for her acerbic wit, interpreted by some as a sharp, unforgiving
tongue. Maryon met the press rarely, but when she did, she didn't hesitate
to speak her mind, not always a good quality in a political spouse.
She is well-known for the quotation, "Behind every successful man
is a surprised woman."
Maryon and Lester (Mike) Pearson had one daughter, Patricia, and one son,
Geoffrey. Geoffrey became a diplomat in his own right. He was an adviser
on arms control and disarmament, and Canada's Ambassador to the Soviet
Union from 1980 to 1983. He is past president of the United Nations
Association of Canada. He is married to Senator Landon Pearson.
Click below for a look at some of the better-known family members of our
most recent PMs: