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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KG OM CH TD PC DL FRS RA was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a non-academic historian, a writer , and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his overall, lifetime body of work. In 1963, he was the first of only eight people to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.

The Right Honourable

KG OM CH TD DL FRS RA
Sir Winston Churchill - 19086236948.jpg
Churchill, December 1941
(photograph by Yousuf Karsh)
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
26 October 1951 – 6 April 1955
Monarch
Deputy Anthony Eden
Preceded by Clement Attlee
Succeeded by Anthony Eden
In office
10 May 1940 – 26 July 1945
Monarch George VI
Deputy Clement Attlee
Preceded by Neville Chamberlain
Succeeded by Clement Attlee
Leader of the Opposition
In office
26 July 1945 – 26 October 1951
Monarch George VI
Prime Minister Clement Attlee
Preceded by Clement Attlee
Succeeded by Clement Attlee
Leader of the Conservative Party
In office
9 November 1940 – 6 April 1955
Preceded by Neville Chamberlain
Succeeded by Anthony Eden
Minister of Defence
In office
28 October 1951 – 1 March 1952
Preceded by Manny Shinwell
Succeeded by Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis
In office
10 May 1940 – 26 July 1945
Preceded by Ernle Chatfield, 1st Baron Chatfield (Coordination of Defence)
Succeeded by Clement Attlee
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
3 September 1939 – 11 May 1940
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
Preceded by James Stanhope, 7th Earl Stanhope
Succeeded by A. V. Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Hillsborough
In office
24 October 1911 – 25 May 1915
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Reginald McKenna
Succeeded by Arthur Balfour
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
6 November 1924 – 4 June 1929
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Philip Snowden
Succeeded by Philip Snowden
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
13 February 1921 – 19 October 1922
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner
Succeeded by Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire
Secretary of State for Air
In office
10 January 1919 – 13 February 1921
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by William Weir, 1st Viscount Weir
Succeeded by Freddie Guest
Secretary of State for War
In office
10 January 1919 – 13 February 1921
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner
Succeeded by Laming Worthington-Evans
Minister of Munitions
In office
17 July 1917 – 10 January 1919
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Christopher Addison
Succeeded by Andrew Weir, 1st Baron Inverforth
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
25 May 1915 – 25 November 1915
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Edwin Montagu
Succeeded by Herbert Samuel
Home Secretary
In office
19 February 1910 – 24 October 1911
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by Herbert Gladstone
Succeeded by Reginald McKenna
President of the Board of Trade
In office
12 April 1908 – 14 February 1910
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by David Lloyd George
Succeeded by Sydney Buxton
Member of Parliament
for Woodford
In office
5 July 1945 – 15 October 1964
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Member of Parliament
for Epping
In office
29 October 1924 – 5 July 1945
Preceded by Leonard Lyle
Succeeded by Leah Manning
Member of Parliament
for Dundee
In office
24 April 1908 – 15 November 1922
Preceded by Edmund Robertson
Succeeded by Edwin Scrymgeour
Member of Parliament
for Manchester North West
In office
8 February 1906 – 24 April 1908
Preceded by William Houldsworth
Succeeded by William Joynson-Hicks
Member of Parliament
for Oldham
In office
24 October 1900 – 12 January 1906
Preceded by Walter Runciman
Succeeded by John Bright
Personal details
Born Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill
(1874-11-30)30 November 1874
Woodstock, Oxfordshire, UK
Died 24 January 1965(1965-01-24) (aged 90)
Kensington, Co. London, UK
Resting place St Martin's Church, Bladon
Political party
Spouse(s) Clementine Hozier (m. 1908)
Children
Parents
Alma mater Royal Military College, Sandhurst
Religion Anglicanism
Signature
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch
Years of service
  • 1895–1900
  • 1916–1918
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill KG OM CH TD PC DL FRS RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a non-academic historian, a writer (as Winston S. Churchill), and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his overall, lifetime body of work. In 1963, he was the first of only eight people to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.

Churchill was born into the family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was a charismatic politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer; his mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American socialite. As a young army officer, he saw action in British India, the Anglo–Sudan War, and the Second Boer War. He gained fame as a war correspondent and wrote books about his campaigns.

At the forefront of politics for fifty years, he held many political and cabinet positions. Before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of Asquith's Liberal government. During the war, he continued as First Lord of the Admiralty until the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign caused his departure from government. He then briefly resumed active army service on the Western Front as commander of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to government under Lloyd George as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. After two years out of Parliament, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Baldwin's Conservative government of 1924–1929, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy.

Out of office and politically "in the wilderness" during the 1930s because of his opposition to increased home rule for India and his resistance to the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

After the Conservative Party lost the 1945 election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. He publicly warned of an "Iron Curtain" of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. After winning the 1951 election, Churchill again became Prime Minister. His second term was preoccupied by foreign affairs, including the Malayan Emergency, Mau Mau Uprising, Korean War, and a UK-backed coup d'état in Iran. Domestically his government laid great emphasis on house-building. Churchill suffered a serious stroke in 1953 and retired as Prime Minister in 1955, although he remained a Member of Parliament until 1964. Upon his death aged ninety in 1965, Elizabeth II granted him the honour of a state funeral, which saw one of the largest assemblies of world statesmen in history.

Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is widely regarded as being among the most influential people in British history, consistently ranking well in opinion polls of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom.