Lionel LeMoine FitzGerald was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1890. From the age of 14 to 22 he went to work for a wholesale drug office, an engraver’s plant and a stockbroker’s office. During the evenings he attended art classes at A. S Kesztheli’s Art School in Winnipeg. By 1912 he had chosen art as a full-time career.
From 1912 to 1925 Fitzgerald worked in many different branches of art, from decorating to window scenery, while developing his easel painting and exhibiting with the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists. His first solo show in 1921 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery was followed by employment with the Winnipeg Art School in 1924. He became school Principal four years later.
Fitzgerald became the tenth and last member of The Group of Seven in 1932. He replaced J. E. H. MacDonald who had died earlier that year. In 1933 following the dissolution of The Group Fitzgerald, along with Harris, was a founding member of the Canadian Group of Painters. He continued to work and exhibit until his death in 1956, at age 66. In 1958 four galleries collaborated on a memorial exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, which was shown at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1963) entitled A New Fitzgerald .In St. James, Winnipeg, where he spent most of his life, the community named a lane Fitzgerald’s Walk in his memory.