Winston Churchill is most famous for his role as the British Prime Minister during World War II. His stand against Adolph Hitler’s threat to control Europe is legendary as is the successful Allied strategy developed with the US and Russia to defeat the Axis powers and craft post-war peace.
A Brief Biography of Facts About Winston Churchill
Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born to an aristocratic family on November 30, 1874.
His father, Lord Randolph Churchill was a British statesman from an established English family; son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, John Spencer-Churchill. His mother, Jeannie Jerome, was a New York socialite. Churchill grew up in Dublin, Ireland.
In 1888, he was sent to the famous British institution, Harrow School near London which put him on a path to the military. Churchill enjoyed a brief career in the British army serving in the Indian northwest frontier and the Sudan before entering into politics in 1900.
In 1908, he married Clementine Ogilvy Hozier, after a short courtship. Their first child, Diana, was born in London in 1909. My father, Randolph, their second child was born on 28 May 1911. Sarah came in 1914 and Marigold Frances Churchill in 1918, four days after the official end of the First World War. Sadly, Marigold would contract a fatal illness and die in 1921. In 1922, the last child, Mary, was born and the family bought Chartwell, which would be Winston’s home until his death.
Churchill as Prime Minster
Though not at first seeing the threat that Adolph Hitler posed when he rose to power in 1933, Churchill gradually became a leading advocate for British rearmament.
By 1938, as Germany began controlling its neighbors, Churchill had become a staunch critic of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement toward the Nazis. On September 3, 1939, the day that Britain declared war on Germany, Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet, and by April, 1940, he became chairman of the Military Coordinating Committee. In May, a debate in led to a vote of no confidence toward Prime Minister Chamberlain. On May 10, King George VI appointed Churchill as prime minister and Minister of Defense. Two days later, German forces entered France. Britain stood alone against the onslaught. Churchill kept resistance to Nazi dominance alive, and created the foundation for an alliance with the United States and the Soviet Union which eventually won WWII.
Churchill after World War II
Perhaps seeing him only as a “war-time prime minister,” he was defeated in the general election in July 1945. Churchill became the Leader of the Opposition Party and continued to have an impact on world affairs.
In June 1953, at age 78, he suffered from a series of strokes at 10 Downing Street. After he recovered, it was apparent even to him that he was physically and mentally slowing down. Churchill retired as prime minister in 1955. He remained a Member of Parliament until 1964.
At age 90, Winston Churchill suffered a severe stroke and died nine days later on January 24, 1965 at his home in London. Britain mourned for more than a week.
Some of the Many Things Winston Churchill is Famous for
- My favorite Churchill quotes have been included in the book.
- 4th June 1940 Coined the term “We shall never surrender” in Churchill’s famous ‘We will Fight’ speech
- On June 18, 1940, Churchill made one of his iconic speeches to the House of Commons, warning that “the Battle of Britain” was about to begin.
- In March 1946, while on a visit to the United States, he made his famous “Iron Curtain” speech – warning of Soviet domination in Eastern Europe.
Much like myself now, and my biological father, his son Randolph Churchill, Winston Churchill was a author. He wrote a novel, two biographies, three volumes of memoirs and several histories in addition to his many newspaper articles. He was also awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953. He was an accomplished artist enjoying both landscapes and still lives, plus stonework and bricklaying.