Jean Lesage (1912-1980) was a Quebecois politician in the 1950s and '60s. His name means John the Sage in english. Lesage was elected leader of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1958. In 1960 led the Liberals to power against the Union Nationale party, now disorganized after the death of their leader, Maurice Duplessis.
Lesage's place in history is clinched by his launch of the so called "Quiet Revolution", a series of reforms that modernized Quebec. Two major reforms symbolized this period. The 1963 Parent Report on Education recommended that only the province control education. Traditionally, the education system had been controlled by the Catholic Church. Next, responsibility for welfare and health-care was also shifted from the church to the state, which tripled the size of the provincial budget. Lesage also nationalized the hydroelectric industry, forming Hydro Quebec.
Jean Lesage was the last sucessful leader of the Quebec Liberals. Since he was swept from power in 1966 by the Parti Quebecois, the Parti still controls Quebec.
John Lesage died in 1980, and has been remembered in Jean Lesage International Airport (Quebec City) as well as various other public buildings and highways.