Winston Churchill

Prime Minister of Great Britain / World War II Figure

Born: 30 November 1874
Died: 24 January 1965
Birthplace: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England
Best known as: Indefatigable prime minister of Britain during World War II
Soldier, politician and finally a prime minister, Winston Churchill was one of Britain's greatest 20th-century heroes. He is particularly remembered for his indomitable spirit while leading Great Britain to victory in World War II. Churchill fought with the British Army in India and Sudan, and as a journalist was captured in South Africa (where his dispatches from the Boer War first brought him to public prominence). He became a member of Parliament in 1900 and remained an MP for over 64 years. His early topsy-turvy political career earned him many enemies, but his stirring speeches, bulldog tenacity and refusal to make peace with Adolf Hitler made him the popular choice to lead England through World War II. When Britain and its allies prevailed in 1945, Churchill's place in history was assured. (Ironically, he lost the prime ministership two months after Germany's surrender, when the opposition Labor Party took majority control of Parliament.) One of the 20th century's most quotable wits, Churchill wrote a plethora of histories, biographies and memoirs, including the landmark four-volume A History of the English-speaking Peoples (1956-58). In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature; he was knighted the same year.
Extra credit: Churchill served as prime minister from 1940-45 and again from 1951-55... He married the former Clementine Hozier in 1908. They had four daughters and a son: Diana (b. 1909), Randolph (b. 1911), Sarah (b. 1914), Marigold (b. 1918) and Mary (b. 1922). Marigold died in 1921... Winston's wartime contemporaries included presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, French resistance leader Charles de Gaulle and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin... More recent British PMs have included Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair... The famous portrait of a scowling Churchill was taken by Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh.

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