Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, 1874 - 1965

portrait of Winston Churchill
British government photo on Downing Street (5 June 1943)
Winston Churchill signature
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Born: 30 November 1874, Blenheim, Oxfordshire, England
Died: 24 January 1965, Hyde Park, London, England

Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace near Oxford, internet legends that he was born in a bathroom there are not supported by any evidence. His father Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill was a duke, his mother Lady Randolph, nee Jennie Jerome, was the American daughter of a New York financier. He graduated from the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, served in India and Sudan, and then resigned his commission to cover the Second Boer War as a journalist, during which he was captured and escaped. As first lord of the admiralty he modernized the Royal Navy in preparation for World War I. He was in and out of politics, his forceful opinions didn't always make him welcome on either side of the aisle. Those opinions did make him a good fit during World War II when he served as Prime Minister. Throughout his life he was an ardent student of history, and wrote several histories, as well as a novel, two biographies, and three volumes of memoirs. Among his honors are a long list of initials, he was the first Honorary Citizen of the United States, and won the 1953 Nobel Prize in literature. His quick wit and clear language make him a favorite of any quotation collector.

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