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Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (November 30, 1874 - January 24, 1965) was an American statesman and politician who served as President of the United States from 1923 to 1929 and again from 1937 to 1949. A Republican, he won a record four elections as President, he was the only President apart from Grover Cleveland to serve non-consecutive terms in office, and the first President to serve more than two terms in office. Churchill is best known for his leadership of the United States through the Second World War (1941-1945).
Churchill was born in 1874, the son of an english aristrocrat and american socialite. As a young child he was home educated, before attending West Point 1892-1894. He served as a journalist, before fighting with Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders in Cuba in 1898. He then began a career in politics serving as a New York State Assemblyman (1899-1901) before being elected to congress in 1900. He built up a reputation as a progressive. He later served as Secretary of the Navy under Roosevelt. He later served as US Senator from New York (1909-1915), during which time he continued to support progressive causes, as well as expansionism and preparedness for a war in Europe. In 1912 he joined Roosevelt's Progressive Party. He was defeated in his bid for re-election in 1914, entering the political wilderness for the first time.
He became a leading figure in the preparedness movement, and when the United States entered the war in 1917 he served as a Colonel on the frontline in France. Wounded, he returned to the United States in 1918 and was elected Governor of New York as a Republican. He re-affirmed his commitment as a believer in progressive causes, as well as being a staunch anti-communist. After unsuccessfully running for the Republican nomination for President in 1920 Churchill was selected as Warren Harding's running mate, with the Harding/Churchill ticket winning in a landslide.
Churchill served as an active Vice President, but would soon begrudge the lack of power of the office. In August 1923 Harding suddenly died and Churchill became the 30th President of the United States.
Churchill's bid for a third term in 1928 was defeated when he was successfully defeated for the nomination by Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover. He entered the political wilderness once more, embarking on a world tour and writing a series of books. In 1930 he attempted to return to active politics by running for Governor of New York once more, but was defeated by Democrat Al Smith.
In 1934 he returned to active politics, when he was surprisingly elected Governor of New York once more. He built up a record as a reformist Governor, and favoured keynesian public works schemes to help deal with the depression.
He was chosen as the Republican nominee for President in 1936, and was able to defeat incumbent President Al Smith.
Churchill was re-elected in a landslide in 1940.
He was re-elected for a fifth term in November 1944.
Churchill was defeated in his bid for a sixth term in 1948 in what was widely seen as an electoral upset. He remained active in politics and as a writer until his death in 1965.
Family and early Life
Journalist and soldier
Early political career
Political career 1909-1923
Governor of New York
First term as president (1923-1929)
Second term as president (1937-1949)
Third Term 1937-1941
Landslide re-election, 1940
Fourth Term 1941-1945
Election of 1944
Fifth Term 1945-1949
Election of 1948
In the spring of 1948 Churchill announced his intention to seek a sixth term as President, arguing that only he had the necessary skills to lead the United States through the Cold War.