Soldier, politician and finally a prime minister, Winston Churchill was one of Britain's greatest 20th-century heroes. He is particularly remembered for his indomitable spirit while leading Great Britain to victory in World War II. Churchill fought with the British Army in India and Sudan, and as a journalist was captured in South Africa (where his dispatches from the Boer War first brought him to public prominence). He became a member of Parliament in 1900 and remained an MP for over 64 years. His early topsy-turvy political career earned him many enemies, but his stirring speeches, bulldog tenacity and refusal to make peace with Adolf Hitler
made him the popular choice to lead England through World War II. When Britain and its allies prevailed in 1945, Churchill's place in history was assured. (Ironically, he lost the prime ministership two months after Germany's surrender, when the opposition Labor Party took majority control of Parliament.) One of the 20th century's most quotable wits, Churchill wrote a plethora of histories, biographies and memoirs, including the landmark four-volume A History of the English-speaking Peoples
(1956-58). In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel
Prize in Literature; he was knighted the same year.