St. Laurent, Louis Stephen (săN lôräNˈ) [key], 1882–1973, Canadian political leader. A well-known lawyer, he entered (1941) political life as minister of justice and attorney general in the Mackenzie King government; he was later minister of external affairs (1946–48). He was elected to the House of Commons in 1942 and succeeded King as Liberal party leader, taking office (Nov., 1948) as prime minister after King's retirement. His party failed to obtain a majority of votes in 1957, and John G. Diefenbaker, a Conservative, succeeded him as prime minister. On his retirement in 1958 Lester B. Pearson became Liberal party leader.
See biography by D. C. Thomson (1968).
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