- NAME: Winston Churchill
- OCCUPATION: Prime Minister, Journalist
- BIRTH DATE: November 30, 1874
- DEATH DATE: January 24, 1965
- EDUCATION: St. George's School, Brunswick School, Harrow School, Royal Military College (Academy) at Sandhurst
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England
- PLACE OF DEATH: Hyde Park Gate, London, England
- Full Name: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill
- AKA: Winston Churchill
- Nickname: Winnie
Best Known For
As prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill rallied the British people during WWII, and led his country from the brink of defeat to victory.
Noted for his military service, Winston Churchill led England during World War II . He took the blame for the Gallipoli landings during World War I, but eventually became Prime Minister and led the fight against Adolf Hitler.
The British Bulldog inspired his countrymen in their fight against Adolf Hitler and helped lead the Allies to victory during World War II.
As the Germans seized Western Europe, Adolf Hitler planned to invade Britain. After a month of fighting, Hitler focused on attacking London in what is now known as "The Blitz."
Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Her speech against communism earned her the name "The Iron Lady." Leading Britain through a war and out of a recession, she left a huge mark on politics.
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In meetings in Teheran (1943), Yalta (February 1945) and Potsdam (July 1945), Churchill collaborated with the two leaders to develop a united strategy against the Axis Powers, and helped craft the post-war world with the United Nations as its centerpiece. As the war wound down, Churchill proposed plans for social reforms in Britain, but was unable to convince the public. Perhaps seeing him only as a "war-time prime minister,
" he was defeated in the general election in July 1945.
During the next six years, Churchill became the Leader of the Opposition Party and continued to have an impact on world affairs. 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. He also advocated that Britain remain independent from European coalitions and maintain its independence.
After the general election of 1951, Churchill returned to government. He was appointed Minister of Defense between October 1951 and January 1952, and became prime minister in October 1951. In 1953, Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He introduced various reforms such as the Mines and Quarries Act of 1954, improving working conditions in mines, and the Housing Repairs and Rent Act of 1955, establishing standards for housing. These domestic reforms were overshadowed by a series of foreign policy crises in the colonies of Kenya and Malaya, where Churchill ordered direct military action. While successful in putting down the rebellions, it became clear that Britain was no longer able to sustain its colonial rule.
Churchill had shown signs of fragile health as early as 1941, while visiting the White House. At that time, he suffered a mild heart attack and, in 1943, he had a similar attack while battling a bout of pneumonia. In June 1953, at age 78, he suffered from a series of strokes at his office, located at 10 Downing Street. The news was kept from the public and Parliament, with the official announcement stating that he had suffered from exhaustion. He recuperated at home, and returned to his work as prime minister in October. However, 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 the general election of 1964, when he did not seek re-election.
There was speculation that Churchill suffered from Alzheimer's disease in his last years, but many medical experts feel that his reduced mental capacity was more a result of the strokes he had suffered. Despite his poor health, Churchill was able to remain active in public life, albeit mostly from the comfort of his homes in Kent and Hyde Park Gate, in London.
On January 15, 1965, Churchill suffered a severe stroke that left him gravely ill. He died at his London home nine days later, at age 90, on January 24, 1965. Britain mourned for more than a week.
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