Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill is, undoubtedly, one of the most influential people of the century. His nonconformist ways earned him admiration and respect.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill is a great man. Born in England, he was generally regarded as the most misunderstood yet greatly admired man during his time. His policies and views may not appeal to the masses or the influential people that he worked with but few would disagree that he was the force that carried Britain during the difficult times of Second World War.
His exploits were famous, sometimes infamous. But Churchill was a force to reckon with, accepted by friends and foes alike. That he made things happened is a given.
The whole world watched in fascination at his antics, his radical strategies and nonconformist ways. Sir Winston Churchill will go down in the annals of history as a stalwart in British politics. His greatness goes beyond his accomplishments. He is great mainly for his courage, brilliance and his great vision for Britain in particular and the world in general.
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill led a colorful and adventurous life. He was born November 30, 1874. Perhaps, his greatest achievement was being a brilliant British politician who held the Prime Minister post of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945.
He was also a multi-awarded author being a Nobel Prize awardee in Literature for his valuable historical writings. An accomplished soldier, he was an officer of the British Army. He held a number of political and cabinet positions. He was also an excellent painter, a budding sculptor and an excellent polo player.
He married Clementine Hozier on September 12, 1908 at St. Margaret’s Westminster. They had five children: Diana, Randolph, Sarah, Marigold and Mary. His son Randolph and later grandsons Nicholas Soames and Winston followed his footsteps in politics. His daughters married politicians.
At the start of the Second World War, Churchill was the First Lord of the Admiralty. In May, 1940, he became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He supported the Allied group and led the war against the Axis powers.
The End of an Era
Knowing that he was physically and mentally deteriorating, Churchill retired in 1955. He was succeeded by his protégé Anthony Eden. He was offered the dukedom by the Queen which he respectfully declined. He still served as MP for Woodford until he stood down for the last time in 1964 General Elections.
He fought depression but was losing the battle due to his advanced age. He found comfort in the Mediterranean. He took long holidays with literary adviser Emery Reves and Wendy, Emery’s wife at French Riviera. Clementine rarely joined him in these holidays. He had eight cruises with Aristotle Onassis on the yacht Christina. When they passed Dardanelles, Onassis instructed the crew to do it during the night so Churchill would not recall unhappy memories.
US President John F. Kennedy awarded him the first Honorary Citizen of the United States in 1963 as authorized by Act of Congress. Churchill could not attend the ceremony at the White House due to his failing health so he sent his son and grandson to receive the award in his behalf.
January 15, 1965, Churchill had a stroke that made him seriously ill. He passed away nine days later at age 90, a little after eight o’clock in the morning of January 24, 1965. Such was the life and times of a great man, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. His influence and voice still resonates even to this day.