Harold Macmillan Fact Sheet: Who was Harold Macmillan? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Harold Macmillan, the famous British Prime Minister.
Harold Macmillan Fact File: Lifespan: 1894 - 1986 *** Full Name: Maurice Harold Macmillan was also known as Supermac *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on February 10th, 1894 *** Place of Birth: Harold Macmillan was born in London, England *** Family background: His father was a publisher *** Early life and childhood: Harold Macmillan grew up and spent the majority of his life in London, England *** Education: Harold Macmillan began his education at Summer Fields School, Oxford *** Harold Macmillan died on December 29th, 1986
Harold Macmillan Fact 1: He was born on February 10th, 1894 in London, England. He was half American, half British. His nickname later became 'Supermac'.
Harold Macmillan Fact 2: His parents were called Maurice Crawford Macmillan and Helen Artie Tarleton Belle (otherwise known as Nellie). His father was a publisher and his mother was an artist and she came from America.
Harold Macmillan Fact 3: He had two older brothers called Daniel and Arthur. His grandfather founded Macmillan publishing, his name was Daniel Macmillan.
Harold Macmillan Fact 4: Before attending school, he was educated from a young age by his mother and nurse maids. He was taught French and everyday he would attend Mr Macpherson's Gymnasium and Dancing Academy where he would exercise.
Harold Macmillan Fact 5: He attended Mr Gladstone's day school, near Sloane Square, from the age of approximately 6 years where he was taught Greek and classical Latin.
Harold Macmillan Fact 6: In 1903, he joined Summer Fields School in Oxford and was educated there until 1906, before moving to Eton College. He studied at Eton until 1910, having to leave early following a severe bout of pneumonia. His education was continued at home by private tutors including an English priest called Ronald Knox who had also received an education from Eton College.
Harold Macmillan Fact 7: In 1912, he joined Balliol College in Oxford where he was educated until 1914, before the outbreak of World War I. He graduated from the college with a First in Honours Moderations which was based on Latin and Greek.
Harold Macmillan Fact 8: Whilst studying at Balliol College, he joined various political societies and became a member and debater of the Oxford Union Society. His interest in politics developed from an early age. He was impressed by the leadership skills and moral nobility of Henry Campbell-Bannerman, H.H. Asquith and David Lloyd George.
Harold Macmillan Fact 9: He served during both World War I and World War II. When World War I broke out, he instantly volunteered for active service. He fought on the front lines in France with the Grenadier Guards. He was in a very dangerous position as the likeliness of being killed or severely injured was high. He served with distinction as a captain.
Harold Macmillan Fact 10: His first WWI injury came in September 1915, during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, when he received a shot to his right hand and a glancing bullet wound to his head. He was treated at a hospital in Lennox Gardens, England before joining a battalion at Chelsea Barracks where he was given time for his wounds to heal before rejoining the front lines in France. His hand injury left him with a weak grip in later years.
Harold Macmillan Fact 11: He was again, severely injured in WWI. The incident occurred in September 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, when he received a bullet to his pelvis which left him seriously injured. He lay in a silt trench for a whole day before receiving any treatment. His injuries were so severe that he had to have a number of operations over a period of two years. The wounds took approximately 4 years to completely heal and he suffered from a slight limp afterwards.
Harold Macmillan Fact 12: His grandfather founded Macmillan Publishing. Harold worked for the company for approximately 20 years from 1920 to 1940. He was a junior partner.
Harold Macmillan Fact 13: He married the daughter of the 9th Duke of Devonshire, her name was Lady Dorothy Cavendish. The couple married on April 21st, 1920. They had four children together: Maurice Macmillan, Lady Caroline Faber, Lady Catherine Amery and Sarah Heath.
Harold Macmillan Fact 14: His wife, Lady Dorothy was the great-niece of Spencer Cavendish who was a Liberal leader. She was also a descendant of William Cavendish who was Prime Minister from 1756 to 1767. Her nephew married John F. Kennedy's sister, Kathleen.
Harold Macmillan Fact 15: His wife, Lady Dorothy, had an ongoing affair with Robert Boothby which began in 1929. Robert Boothby was a Conservative Politian. The general public were not aware of her affair; however, it is thought that her infidelity may have resulted in Harold Macmillan's nervous breakdown which he suffered in 1931.
Harold Macmillan Fact 16: He outlived his wife by approximately 20 years. Lady Dorothy died on May 21st, 1966. The couple had been married for 46 years. He didn't remarry again, however, he became close friends with Ava Anderson and later, Eileen O'Casey.
Harold Macmillan Fact 17: He served as Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer under Sir Anthony Eden.
Harold Macmillan Fact 18: He was a leader of the Conservative party and became Prime Minster of the United Kingdom in 1957, preceding Sir Anthony Eden who had resigned due to the Suez Crisis. The Great Depression had affected him greatly so with this in mind, he worked hard to strengthen the economy, increase levels of employment and growth within the industry. He gave a speech in July 1957 where he famously quoted to the nation that they'd 'never had it so good'.
Harold Macmillan Fact 19: As Prime Minster of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963, his accomplishments were admirable. He managed to salvage the relationship between Great Britain and the United States which had been damaged during the Suez Crisis. He developed the nation's defences to fall inline with the nuclear age. National Service was brought to an end in the United Kingdom and he made great efforts in bringing Britain closer to Europe. He gave many speeches which left a mark on history including his famous 'winds of change' speech in 1960.
Harold Macmillan Fact 20: He died on December 29th, 1986 at Chelwood Gate, East Sussex, England. He was 92 years old when he died. He was laid to rest at St Giles's Church, Horstead Keynes. His finals words were, "I think I will go to sleep now".
Influence & Legacy: He was an important political figure who served on the front lines in France during the First World War, surviving serious injuries. He served as Foreign Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer to Sir Anthony Eden before becoming Britain's Prime Minister at the beginning of 1957. During his time as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he accomplished and overcame many great challenges.