Adélard Godbout came from the county of L'Islet. He studied at the Séminaire de Rimouski, then specialized in agronomy at the École d'agriculture in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière and at Massachusetts Agricultural College, near Boston. A keen observer of American politics, he was particularly influenced by the economic and social thinking of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He admired Roosevelt for his determination to revitalize the American economy with his "New Deal" during the Great Depression. Godbout's efforts left a strong mark on Québec society and paved the way for the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. In just a few years, he gave women the vote, instituted mandatory free education, gave workers the right to form unions, established the first social security measures and encouraged rural electrification. By nationalizing Montréal's electric power distribution system, Adélard Godbout laid the foundations of a government corporation that would become one of the leading electric utilities in North America.