Born in 1874 at Blenheim Palace, Churchill developed a strong interest in the military as a child. After attending Sandhurst, he became a cavalry officer and fought in places including the North West Frontier, Sudan and South Africa. During this period he often wrote for major newspapers as a war correspondent.
Although he would become one of Great Britain’s most famous Prime Ministers, Churchill's first attempt at entering into politics in 1899 was unsuccessful. He was, however, elected as a Conservative MP the following year. Always a political maverick, Churchill joined the Liberal Party in 1904 and only formally re-joined the Conservatives twenty years later. In the 1930s, Churchill entered a political wilderness when several of his opinions fell out of favour with the Conservative Party and he lost his position in government.
When war broke out in 1939, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain recalled Churchill to London to act as First Lord of the Admiralty. After the Germans successfully invaded Norway and then France, Chamberlain resigned his position as Prime Minister and was replaced by Churchill to lead Britain in its ‘finest hour’.
After the war, the Conservatives were defeated and Churchill became Leader of the Opposition, delivering several important speeches. In 1951, he was again appointed Prime Minister, and four years later would leave Number 10 for the last time and retire to Chartwell, where he lived until 1965.