Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, to a British father and an American mother. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a British politician and aristocrat. His mother, Jennie Jerome, was the beautiful daughter of an American entrepreneur.
Lord Randolph was the younger son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, and, as such, neither he nor Winston were likely to succeed to the family title. Nonetheless, from his earliest days Winston was acutely aware of his lineage. He was born and often stayed at Blenheim Palace, the mansion built by his illustrious ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough, to commemorate his famous victory over the French in 1704.
As was the prevailing custom in upper-class British circles, Winston and his younger brother, John (called Jack), were entrusted to the care of a nanny and were sent to a succession of boarding schools. Churchill’s parents were occupied with high society and Lord Randolph’s meteoric, yet brief, political career and did not spend a great deal of time with their sons.
Young Winston was sometimes rebellious and often in trouble. He was not as bad a pupil as he subsequently claimed, but neither was he particularly distinguished academically. On leaving school at the age of eighteen, he joined the British cavalry. Lord Randolph died in 1895—before Winston had the opportunity to prove himself to his often critical father.
Winston Churchill served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman, orator and strategist, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army. A prolific author, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his own historical writings.
Upon his death in 1965, he was granted the honor, by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of a state funeral which saw one of the largest assemblies of politicians in the world.
|Winston Churchill aged 6 with his aunt Lady Leslie, 1880.|
|A portrait photo of Churchill in 1881.|
|Churchill pictured as a child and wearing a bowler hat.|
|Churchill and his brother Jack as children, 1884.|
|Churchill as a Harrow schoolboy, 1889.|