Anthony Charles Lynton Blair
Born on: 6 May 1953
Born in: Edinburgh, Scotland
Education: Law from Oxford University
Career: Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Tony Blair is a British politician and the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and served his official tenure from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. His political career got an active start when he won the seat of Sedgefield in the General Election in 1983, at the age of 30. Following it, he ascended through various political ranks with swift paces and was finally promoted as the Shadow Home Secretary by the Labour Party Leader John Smith, after the 1992 election. With the unexpected death of John Smith, Tony Blair was further appointed the Leader of the Labour Party in July 1994.
After the Labour Party won a historical victory in the 1997 General Election, Tony Blair took the seat of the Prime Minister, at the age of 43. He became the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812 and also earned the repute of being the longest-serving Prime Minister, who led the Labour Party to three consecutive general election victories. In fact, he was the only Labour Party Prime Minister to serve consecutive terms.
Tony Blair was born as ‘Anthony Charles Lynton Blair’ on 6 May 1953, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the second son of Leo Blair (a university law lecturer and a barrister) and his wife, Hazel Blair. With two siblings, Bill Blair and Sarah Blair, Tony Blair is the one of the three children of the Blairs. He spent the first few months of his childhood at his family home in Paisley Terrace, in the Willowbrae area of Edinburgh.
When Tony was more than a year old, his family moved to Adelaide in Australia where they spent three and a half years. They lived in the suburb of Dulwich. In the late 1950s, the Blair family returned to Britain and Tony spent a few years at his maternal grandparents’ home in Stepps, near Glasgow. The rest of his childhood was spent in Durham, England, where his father was working as a lecturer at the Durham University.
Blair attended the Durham's Chorister School from 1961 to 1966 and then went to study at the famous Fettes College, an independent school in Edinburgh. After leaving Fettes, Blair spent a year in London. As a college-goer, Blair was a rock music fanatic who idolized Mick Jagger, the frontman of the rock band ‘Rolling Stones’. He was known for his long hairstyle, unconventional attitude and dynamic personality during this period of life.
He then enrolled himself in the University of Oxford to read jurisprudence at St John's College. While in Oxford, he played the guitar and was part of a rock band called ‘Ugly Rumours’. Blair's mother died of cancer during this time, which left a deep mark on him. He graduated in 1976 and then became a member of Lincoln's Inn, where he enrolled himself as a barrister. Here, he met his future wife, Cherie Booth QC. He married her on 29 March 1980 and eventually became the father of four children (Euan, Nicky, Kathryn and Leo).
Blair secured victory for the Labour Party, over the seat of Sedgefield in the 1983 General Election, at the age of 30. He speedily advanced to the party’s front ranks, with his first promotion as the Shadow Treasury front bench, in 1985. Following that, he served as a Trade and Industry Spokesman (1987), before being elected to the Shadow Cabinet in 1988. Here, he was made Shadow Secretary of State for Energy. Finally, in 1989, Blair moved to the employment brief.
After the 1992 election, Labour Leader, John Smith, promoted Blair to the post of the Shadow Home Secretary. With the unexpected and sudden demise of John Smith, Blair became the leader of the Labour Party in July 1994. During this period, he promoted his campaign for the modernization of the Labour Party and coined the term ‘New Labour’. Finally, under Blair’s leadership, the Labour Party emerged victorious in the General Election of 1997, after a period of 18 yrs of conservative rule.
Blair became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 2 May 1997. Along with that, he also served as First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Member of Parliament for the constituency of Sedgefield in the North East of England and Privy Counselor. He became Labour Party's longest-serving prime minister, with General Election victories in 1997, 2001, and 2005. In fact, he was the first and only Prime Minister who led the party to three consecutive victories.
On 10 May 2007, during a speech at the Trimdon Labour Club in his Sedgefield constituency, Blair made known his intention to resign as both the Labour Party leader and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He formally passed on his leadership of the Labour Party to Gordon Brown on June 24, in Manchester. He also resigned from his seat in the House of Commons and forwarded his resignation as Prime Minister to the Queen on 27 June 2007, after holding office for a period of ten years. After his resignation, he was formally authorized as the Middle East Envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia.