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Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald was born in March 17, 1890, in Winnipeg to Lionel Henry FitzGerald and Belle (Hicks) FitzGerald. Leaving school when he was 14, L. L. FitzGerald worked at Stovel's publishing house and Eaton's department store while pursuing art in his spare time and taking classes at the Keszthelyi School of Fine Art. In 1912, FitzGerald married Felicia Wright (1883-1962) whom with he had two children, a son, Edward, and a daughter, Patricia.
FitzGerald first exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy in 1913. In 1918, he sold his first painting to the National Gallery of Canada. In order to keep abreast of current artistic trends, FitzGerald spent the winter of 1921 studying drawing at the Arts Student League in New York. Upon his return to Winnipeg, he held his first one-man exhibition in September at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. His increasing success as a painter earned him a job as an art teacher at the Winnipeg School of Art in 1924, where he was appointed principal in 1929. By 1932, FitzGerald's art had attracted the attention of the Group of Seven. With the exhibition of his seminal work, Doc Snyder's House, he was unanimously granted membership of the group, replacing J. E. H. MacDonald. With the dissolution of the Group of Seven in 1933, FitzGerald became a founding member of the Canadian Group of Artists. He was also an active member of the Winnipeg Sketch Club and the Manitoba Society of Artists.
After 25 years as an art teacher, FitzGerald retired from the Winnipeg School of Art in 1949. His contribution to fine art in Manitoba was recognized by the University of Manitoba with an honorary degree in 1952. L. L. FitzGerald passed away from heart attack in 1956. Numerous posthumous exhibitions of FitzGerald's work have served to bolster his reputation as one of Canada's most significant artists of the twentieth century.