Lester Bryant Bird is the son of the former prime minister, Vere Bird, Sr. Before his retirement in 1994, Vere Bird had been the longest-serving prime minister in the English-speaking Caribbean. His son Lester was born on 21 February 1938 and attended the Antigua Grammar School. Bird is unique in that he is one of the few Caribbean leaders who excelled in competitive sports, academics, and politics. Between 1956 and 1957, he represented Antigua and the Leeward Islands in cricket. He also won a bronze medal for the long jump at the Pan American Games. In 1962, he entered the University of Michigan to study law and represented that institution in track and field. He gained the distinction of admission to an honorary fraternity for his performance as an academic athlete. In 1969, Bird was admitted to the bar at Gray's Inn. He remained in private law practice until 1976.