Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace on Nov. 30,
1874. His father was Lord Randolph Churchill, who descended directly from the
1st duke of Marlborough, of whom Winston was to write a biography. His mother was Jennie Jerosme, an American. Churchill's childhood was unhappy. He spent most of his time at school, something he didn't really love. His teachers caracterized him as bright, but stubborn and obstinate. He loved to read history and poetry, however, and was fascinated by soldiers and battles. From childhood he had an extraordinary memory. Winston Churchhill didn't want to go to university. Instead, he enrolled in the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He graduated in 1894. After service in Cuba and India, he worked as a war- correspondent in Northern India, Sudan and in South Africa, where he was captured by the Boers. His daring escape made him an overnight celebrity.
Churchill always wanted to become a politician. His wish came true in 1900, when he was elected to the Parliament as a Conservative, and he quickly made his mark.
His political sympathies began to change, however, and he "changed sides" in
1904, when he abandoned the Conservative party for the Liberals. When the
Liberals came to power in 1905, Churchill entered the government as secretary of state for the colonies. In 1908, the year of his marriage to Clementine Hosier, he became a member of the cabinet as president of the Board of Trade. Winston's political missions became more and more important, in 1910 he became a member of the Admirality. In 1913-1914 Churchill completed British naval preparations for war. During World War Churchhill made some fatal mistakes in war strategy. This was one of the main reasons that he was removed from the Admirality when the
Conservatives (many of whom now detested him) joined the government in 1915.
After a period of active military service in France, he was re-elected in the
Parliament. He became