Winston Churchill, greatest leader of the 20th century?
Winston Churchill is the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He ruled the country in wartime from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Before entering politics, he was also an officer in the British army, a historian, a reporter, an artist and a writer, which won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.
Churchill is often considered one of the greatest British leaders of the twentieth century despite his famously large consumption of alcohol - he is rumoured to have drunk over 42,000 bottles of Pol Roger champagne throughout his life - and unpredictable temper.
He led his country from a close defeat to victory against Nazi germany and rallied the British people through war. During the Blitz, the bombing of London by Germany's Luftwaffe, Churchill said in a radio broadcast: "These cruel, wanton, indiscriminate bombings of London are, of course, a part of Hitler's invasion plans. He hopes, by killing large numbers of civilians, and women and children, that he will terrorize and cow the people of this mighty imperial city… Little does he know the spirit of the British nation, or the tough fibre of the Londoners."
He was born on November 30, 1874, in Woodstock, Oxfordshire to an aristocratic family and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. Never an outstanding student, he was a trouble-maker at school and soon started studying at military school.
Churchill also had a long writing career, going from war correspondent for London's The Daily Graphic to book author and Nobel Prize.
When he returned from war as a soldier and reporter, 25-year-old Churchill decided to get involved in politics and was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party. After a few years, he switched to the Liberal Party in 1904.
After over 60 years in politics, the ex-Prime Minister stood down from Parliament at the 1964 general elections. He died on January 24, 1965, ten days after a stroke left him weakened. The fiftieth anniversary of his death was widely celebrated across the world.