She was born in Hampstead, London. On 3 June 1897, she married, as his second wife, the publisher Arthur Pearson, who was created a baronet in 1916. She became heavily involved in St Dunstan's Hostel for the Blind, the home for blinded soldiers that her husband, who was blind himself, founded in 1915. For these services, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 1920 Birthday Honours.
Following her husband's death in 1921 she succeeded him as president of St Dunstan's and held the position until 1947, when she was succeeded by her son, Sir Neville Pearson. She was also a vice-president of the Royal National Institute for the Blind. Lady Pearson died on 10 April 1959, aged 89, at her home in Rutland Gate, London.
- Birth of Ethel Maud Fraser, registered quarter 4 of 1870 in Hampstead
- Staff (13 April 1959). "Deaths". The Times. London, England. p. 1.
PEARSON.—On April 10th, 1959, at her home in Eresby House, Rutland Gate, peacefully, after a long illness, Lady Ethel Maud Pearson, D.B.E., widow of Sir Arthur Pearson, Bt., G.B.E., founder of St. Dunstan's, and dearly loved mother of Sir Neville Pearson, Bt.
- Obituary, The Times, 13 April 1959
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