Tony Blair Biography

Tony Blair is a former Prime Minister of Britain and is one of the youngest leaders to have served as the Prime Minister of a Country.

Tony Blair
Quick Facts

Birthday: May 6, 1953

Nationality: British

Famous: Quotes By Tony Blair Political Leaders

Age: 66 Years, 66 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Taurus

Also Known As: Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

Born in: Edinburgh

Famous as: Prime Minister of Britain

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males

political ideology: British Labour Party

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Cherie Booth

father: Leo

mother: Hazel Blair

siblings: William J. L. Blair

children: Euan Blair, Kathryn Blair, Leo Blair, Nicky Blair

City: Edinburgh, Scotland

More Facts

education: St John's College, Oxford (1976), Fettes College, Chorister School, Durham, University of Oxford

awards: 2009 - Presidential Medal of Freedom
2009 - Dan David Prize
2003 - Congressional Gold Medal

2010 - Liberty Medal

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Tony Blair (Anthony Charles Lynton Blair) was one of the youngest and the longest serving Prime Ministers of Britain, belonging to the Labour Party. Like many of his predecessors, Blair’s tenure as a Prime Minister was predominant with controversies and during his tenure, he was even accused of war crimes. He rebuked the conventional style of politics followed by his party and under his leadership his party came to be known as the ‘New Labour Party’. He implemented several socio-economic reforms to alleviate poverty and bring down unemployment, while focusing on elevating the living standards of people. He also showed great concern for environmental hazards, such as global warming, which his predecessors had overlooked. However, his decision to lead Britain to several wars, especially the ‘War on Terror’ declared by the U.S., put him at odds with his party as well as his countrymen. He was often criticized for extending unconditional support to the invasions carried out in the Middle East by the US. Both, his party members and the public were enraged by his decision to engage England in wars, as it, according to them, not only violated human rights and disrupted peace, but also exhausted a substantial amount of Britain’s financial reserves.

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Tony Blair
Childhood & Early Life
  • Tony Blair was born to Leo and Hazel Blair and was raised in Durham, England, where he attended ‘The Chorister School’ from 1961 to 1966.
  • His father was a famous attorney who ran for the parliament as a Tory in 1963, but, after suffering a serious stroke he became mute and had to abandon his political dreams. This drove his family into financial difficulties and Tony who was only 10, gradually learned to live through hardships.
  • After completing school, he attended the Fettes College, Edinburgh, where he used to perform rock music, taking inspiration from the great musician Mick Jagger. He left Fettes and went to the St John's College, Oxford, to study Law, where he joined the college rock band, ‘Ugly Rumors’.
  • At Oxford, his association with Peter Thompson, a fellow student and priest, influenced and shaped Blair’s political and religious outlook. His interest in the political affairs germinated and he decided to actively participate in politics.
  • After completing his graduation in 1975, he entered ‘Lincoln's Inn’, where he joined as an apprentice under Lord Chancellor, Alexander Irvine.
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The Beginning Of Political Career
  • He stepped into the world of politics by joining the Labour Party and in 1982 he was chosen to represent the party in the parliament for Beaconsfield District. Although he lost his first election, he was nevertheless seen as a potential candidate. In 1983, he won the election, earning a seat in the parliament representing Sedgefield District.
  • After his election, his hard work and dedication towards the party continued to impress the party members which fuelled his political growth and propelled his rise. In 1984, he was appointed as the assistant Treasury spokesman.
  • As the Treasury spokesman, one of his primary moves was opposing the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher. In 1987, he was promoted to the position of spokesman of the Trade and Industry.
  • In 1988, he was made the Shadow Secretary of Energy by the Shadow ministry. The Shadow ministry or cabinet is an alternative cabinet comprising members from the opposition who keep a close eye on the policies and actions of the government.
  • Later, when Neil Kinnock, the leader of the opposition, resigned in 1992, Blair was made the Shadow Home Secretary serving under John Smith, the newly elected leader of the party.
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Rise To Prominence
  • In 1994, John Smith died unexpectedly of a cardiac arrest, and Blair was elected as the Leader of the Opposition and was also appointed to the Privy Council.
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  • Following his election as the leader of the Labour party in the parliament, he proposed several policies pertaining to taxation, crimes and education, along with various other reformative measures. In 1996, in one of Labour Party’s conference he mentioned that ‘education, education, and education’, were his top three priorities.
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As Prime Minister Of UK
  • The unpopularity of the Conservative leader John Major, in the wake of several scandals proved advantageous for Blair. In the 1997 general elections, the Labour Party achieved a sweeping victory over the Conservatives and on May 2, 1997, he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • As the new PM, he raised the taxes, announced minimum wages, implemented new employment rights, introduced new rights for the homosexuals and signed several treatises in his pursuit to unify Britain with the European Union.
  • In health and educational sectors as well, he introduced innumerable reforms, revoked many categories of welfare payments, implemented stringent anti-terrorism measures and passed legislation regarding the issuance of identity cards to the citizens. He vested the police force with more power which consequently increased the number of punishable offences and he also made DNA recording mandatory.
  • His government undertook several initiatives to reduce the level of poverty and increase the number of social services in Britain. Poverty declined to a great extent and the overall health conditions of the people also improved during his tenure. Nearly 1.7 million under-paid workers were benefitted from his minimum wage policy and over 2 million people were rescued from poverty.
  • He also worked for the revival of the environment and while addressing the United States Congress assured about 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. He also stated that, by 2010 about 10% of the energy required by Britain would be obtained from renewable resources.
  • During his tenure, the United Kingdom participated in five major battles: (1) 1998, when England joined hands with the U.S to attack Iraq on the latter’s failure to comply with the UN on arms reduction, (2) 1999, Kosovo War, (3) 2000, Sierra Leone Civil War, (4) 2001, After the 9/11 terror strikes in the U.S. America declared ‘War on Terror’ and Britain joined hand with the U.S. by sending troops into battle against Afghanistan (5) 2003, when U.S invaded Iraq, Britain too fully supported it by sending her troops.
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  • His foreign policy, especially, concerning the U.S. was severely criticized and his popularity as the PM soon started to plummet. However, his involvement in the Northern Ireland Peace Process settlement garnered a lot of appreciation.
  • On June 7, 2001 he achieved a landslide victory in the general elections and was reelected as the Prime Minister. He was reelected to a third term on May 5, 2005.
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Resignation
  • Due to the rising casualties of British troops in the Iraq war, Blair's popularity dropped drastically and he was accused of misleading Parliament. Also, the Labour party's overall majority in the 2005 general election was reduced to 66. In view of this situation, Blair was forced to resign and on 27 June 2007 he handed over the leadership of the Labour Party to Gordon Brown.
  • The day he resigned, he was appointed as the Special Envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States, and Russia to the ‘Quartet on the Middle East’ to help the Middle East facilitate its peace process.
  • In 2007, he set up the ‘Tony Blair Sports Foundation’ with the mission to "increase childhood participation in sports activities, especially in the North East of England, where a larger portion of children are socially excluded, and to promote overall health and prevent childhood obesity."
  • After his retirement, he dedicated most of his time to charitable works and also established the ‘Tony Blair Faith Foundation’, a nonprofit organization to promote understanding and tolerance among people belonging to different faiths.
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War Crime Allegations
  • He has been viewed as criminal by many human-rights activists including Desmond Tutu, Harold Pinter and Arundhati Roy who have demanded his trial in the International Criminal Court for endorsing wars and invasions.
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Awards & Achievements
  • He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush on 13 January 2009 for his extensive support in the ‘War on Terror’ and also for playing a pivotal role in attaining peace in Northern Ireland.
  • On 13 September 2010, he was awarded the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, by former U.S. President, Bill Clinton.
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Personal Life & Legacy
  • On 29 March 1980, Blair married Cherie Booth and the couple has four children.
  • Blair, who was an Anglican, converted to the Catholicism in secret. This information was revealed on December 22, 2007.
  • In 2010, his memoir titled, ‘A Journey’ was published; it is one of the fastest-selling autobiographies of all times.
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Trivia
  • After this famous British politician became the leader of the Labour Party of UK, the party’s name was changed to ‘New Labour’.
  • This politician was the second youngest person to become the Prime Minister of UK.
  • This famous politician had a son in May 2000 and became the first serving British Prime Minister in 150 years to have a child.
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See the events in life of Tony Blair in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Tony Blair Biography
Author
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
Website
- TheFamousPeople.com
URL
https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/tony-blair-73.php
Last Updated
- July 26, 2017

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