Birthplace: Weston-super-Mare, England
In 1969, at the age of 29, Archer became the youngest member of the House of Commons. He resigned in 1974, after a financial scandal involving a company in which he had invested, and turned to writing to pay his bills. His fictional account of that incident, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less (1976) was the first of many best-selling novels. Among his best-known works are Kane and Abel (1980), First Among Equals (1984), A Matter of Honor (1986), and The Fourth Estate (1996). Archer returned to politics in 1985, when Margaret Thatcher named him Tory Party Chairman, but the following year, he again resigned in the wake of a scandal. This time, however, Archer sued the newspapers for libel, winning Britain's largest settlement ever.