Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill,  November 30, 1874- January 24, 1965

Quick Facts:

Place of Birth: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England

Famouse For: Prime minister of the United Kingdom during World War II


Prime Minister Term(s)
1940-1945; 1951-1955


-1953  Nobel Prize in literature

-While working as a newspaper correspondent during the Boer War in South Africa, Churchill was captured by the Boers, but made a daring escape.
-Although Churchill was a member of the Conservative Party for most of his life, he was a member of the Liberal Party between 1904 and 1924.
-Painting was one of Churchill's many talents, and the Royal Academy of Arts in London featured an exhibit of his works in 1959.

"He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."
-John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963), U.S. president. On Winston Churchill.

Churchill in 1904

Quotations:

 "Do not let us speak of darker days; let us rather speak of sterner days. These are not dark days: these are great days—the greatest days our country has ever lived."
-Winston Churchill (1874–1965), British prime minister and writer.
Address to Harrow School

"For myself, I am an optimist — it does not seem to be much use being anything else."
-Speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet in London (1954-11-09)

“You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.
Winston Churchill - 1930s - The House of Commons

"I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and this trial."
Winston Churchill. The Gathering Storm.

“To every man there comes … that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing unique to him and fitted to his talent. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour”

" Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."
Speech given at Harrow School (1941-10-29)

"What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun."
-Speech in Dundee, Scotland (1908-10-10)

"The truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is".
-Speech in the House of Commons (1916-05-17)

"The nation had the lion's heart. I had the luck to give the roar."
-Speech to both houses of the British Parliament on the occasion of his 80th birthday.


"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations."

"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival."

"When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.
Their Finest Hour

"It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic."
-The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898)

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential ”


"I hate nobody except Hitler — and that is professional."
-Churchill to John Colville during WWII, quoted by Colville in his book The Churchillians (1981)


"Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. "
-The Official Report, House of Commons (5th Series), 11 November 1947, vol. 444, cc. 206–07.

"Let us learn our lessons. ... Never believe any war will be smooth and easy or that anyone who embarks on that strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events… incompetent or arrogant commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant fortune, ugly surprise, awful miscalculations. ... Always remember, however sure you are that you could easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance."
(As quoted in This Time It's Our War (2003) by Leonard Fein in The Forward (July 25, 2003))


"Do not criticize your government when out of the country. Never cease to do so when at home."

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
-Referring to the pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain.

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile—hoping that it will eat him last."

--And--

"And you, madam, are ugly. But I shall be sober in the morning."
-Replying to the Member of Parliament Bessie Braddock, who told him he was drunk.