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Five Fun Facts About Winston Churchill

By Anne Cullison. Mar 9, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Nobel Prize Winners, History

Winston Churchill is a universally recognized name. Even if you don't know his entire back story, it is most likely you've studied him and his role in British politics in a history class somewhere along the line. Today, we thought it would be interesting to dig up a couple facts about the great leader that may be lesser known. Here are five things we found that don't necessarily come to mind when you picture Winston Churchill.

1. Churchill’s mother was an American.

Jennie_jerome_1854.jpgLord Randolph Churchill, the third son of the seventh Duke of Marlborough, married the daughter of a Brooklyn born financier, Jeanette "Jennie" Jerome. Indeed, Lord Randolph married Jennie and less than eight months later, Winston was born. The circumstances surrounding his conception and birth timeline have never been confirmed. According to William Manchester in his book The Last Lion, Sir Winston Churchill would respond to inquries regarding being born out of wedlock by saying, "Although present on the occasion, I have no clear recollection of the events leading up to it."

2. President Ford gave the most comprehensive Churchill speech ever.

When President Gerald Ford spoke at the commemoration of Churchill's 109th birthday at the English Speaking Union in 1983, he gave what's become known as The Churchill Lecture. So beloved was this speech that many insisted it be printed and distributed as an authoritative biography. This wish was granted, and if interested, book collectors can now find limited editions of the speech printed and signed by President Ford for sale for a couple hundred dollars.

3. Churchill escaped from prison

While serving a dual role as a war correspondent and military officer in South Africa, Churchill was taken captive by the Boers. However, he was able to scale a wall and sneak out at night. After hiding in a mineshaft and sneaking aboard a train, he was able to rejoin the fight after a week.

4. Churchill really disliked Gandhi.

winston_churchill_PD-4.jpgChurchill was opposed to Indian autonomy, and he really disliked the nonviolent leader, Gandhi. In fact, Churchill viewed Gandhi as more of a rabble-rouser than anything else. Some of his statements about the peaceful man are anything but charitable. Sources even note that Churchill was in favor of letting Gandhi die if the leader chose to partake in a hunger strike.

5. Churchill was extremely accident prone.

As a child, Churchill suffered a concussion and ruptured kidney while playing on a bridge. Later, he nearly drown in a Swiss lake. He also fell from multiple horses, dislocated his shoulder disembarking from a ship in India, crashed a plane while learning to fly, and was hit by a car while crossing 5th Avenue in New York. Despite his clumsy nature, he lived to 90 before he finally passed from a stroke.

Can't Get Enough Winston Churchill? Read on!

Four Life Lessons From Winston Churchill

After striding as a Colossus through the British political landscape, Churchill is somewhat reduced in stature for many millennials. In 2010, a Royal Mint survey revealed 44 percent of British subjects aged 16-24 failed to recognize his picture. So it seems appropriate to seize the moment and remind people what a singular and larger-than-life existence Churchill led. For example... Read more >>

Winston Churchill: A History Twenty Years in the Making

The evening was getting on and the clock was closing in on ten as the old man bid good night to his guests. Walking slowly through the hallways of his rambling country house, he paused for a moment at the bottom of the back staircase to clear his head from the lingering after-dinner drinks.

The narrow stairs that loomed before him had posed no challenge when he’d purchased the house years earlier. Then, he’d been an unimaginably young forty-eight. Now he was a far less sprightly sixty-three... Read more >>

Browse Gerald Ford Books

Anne Cullison
Lover of all things books. Spends her time chasing three rambunctious children and enjoys picking up books to read as soon as they fall asleep.


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