Many people, particularly in Great Britain, regard Winston Churchill as one of the greatest statesmen of modern history. Despite being born into a family of great wealth and privilege, Churchill dedicated his life to public service as a writer, army officer, and politician. His legacy is complex and marred by controversy. Though many view him as a great wartime leader and social reformer, others condemn his imperialist views and comments on race. Regardless, there is no doubting that Winston Churchill is one of the most significant figures of the 20th century.


1. Early Life and Family

Winston Churchill was born at his family’s estate, Blenheim Palace, near Oxford on November 30, 1874. His mother, originally Jennie Jerome, was an American heiress. Her father was a stock speculator and partial owner of the New York Times. Churchill’s father, Lord Randolph Churchill, belonged to a long familial line of aristocrats and politicians. Lord Randolph Churchill was a well-known Tory radical and originator of the term “Tory democracy.” The family moved to Ireland in 1876 and Churchill’s brother, Jack, was born a few years later in 1880.

Winston Churchill duncan1890 / Getty Images

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