The Winston Churchill biography: His extraordinary qualities

Sir Winston Churchill was a statesman and an outstanding visionary leader who displayed inspiring leadership qualities as prime minister (1940-1945) during the British Empire’s darkest days – the Second World War. Historians widely credit him with being “the greatest statesman of the 20th century”.  Churchill is renowned for his unique strategic insight, courage and unwavering determination in the face of adversity. In his private life, Winston Churchill was an avid reader, painter and author.

The Winston Churchill biography: A difficult childhood

Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was born to an aristocratic family on November 30, 1874. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, was an influential British politician and his mother, Jeanette Jerome, was a beautiful American socialite whom he loved dearly – but at a distance. Due to his parents’ frequent travelling and socializing, Winston saw very little of them.

Young Winston’s parents seldom visited him at boarding school, not even responding to many of his letters pleading with them to visit him. Consequently, Winston spent many holidays at home with only his younger brother Jack, and their beloved nanny Mrs. Everest, for company.

Winston hated his first school; he was rebellious and a poor scholar. His favourite subjects were history and English. His scholastic performance showed some improvement when he was moved to a different school. However, he was regarded as a disappointment by his parents and teachers.

The Winston Churchill biography: His early career

Winston’s father encouraged him to join the military as he did not consider him good enough for any other career. So, when he left school, he attended the Royal Military College of Sandhurst and graduated with honours. Later, Winston Churchill saw action in Cuba, India, Egypt, Sudan and World War I.

Winston then moved to South Africa as a correspondent for the Morning Post covering the Boer War. He was captured but he escaped and, facing every danger with courage, he returned to London to a hero’s welcome and his name hit the headlines for the first time.

The Winston Churchill biography: Politics and War

At age twenty-five, Churchill began his brilliant political career; he was elected to Parliament and became a statesman in the House of Commons. He then served as First Lord of the Admiralty, Minister of Munitions and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In May 1940, after Chamberlain resigned as prime minister of a country now at war, George VI asked Churchill to take up the post.  The war energized Churchill and his speeches inspired the British people who saw him as an outstanding visionary leader. He was admired for his courage, indomitable spirit and strong sense of purpose, as he passionately led his people from the brink of defeat to victory.

Churchill died of a stroke at age 90, on 24th January 1965 and received the largest state funeral in world history up to that point in time.

“Never, never, never, never give up.” – Sir Winston Churchill