Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was born Anthony Charles Lynton Blair on May 6, 1953, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Despite being born in Scotland, Blair spent the better part of his childhood in Durham, England, where he attended the Chorister School.
Blair's father, Leo Charles Blair, was a prominent attorney who ran for Parliament as a Tory in 1963, when Tony was 10 years old. Devastatingly, Leo had a stroke right before the election, rendering him unable to speak. As Leo convalesced over the next three years, Tony and his siblings, older brother Bill and younger sister Sarah, learned to fend for themselves and adapt to stressful financial difficulties. From an early age, Blair felt compelled to follow in his father's footsteps and one day achieve the political goals his father was forced to abandon.
Although his father was adopted, the young Blair appeared to have inherited his biological grandparents' talent for entertaining. As a teen, when he and his family had moved back to Edinburgh, Blair frequently performed at Fettes College to rave reviews. While a student at St. John's College at Oxford University, Blair was the lead singer in a rock band called the Ugly Rumors. The band preformed cover versions of songs by the Rolling Stones, the Doobie Brothers and other popular headliners. Rolling Stones front man Mick Jaggerranked among Blair's personal icons at the time.
After completing his undergraduate courses, Blair renewed his commitment to following his father's career path. He enrolled in law school at Oxford University, graduating with a law degree in 1975. Blair's mother, an Irish butcher's daughter whose maiden name was Hazel Corscadden, died of thyroid cancer that same year. After graduation, Blair began an internship in employment law under Queen's Counsel Alexander Irvine. Blair...