People Who Kick Buts: Tony Blair
The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say Yes.
- Born in Alabama on May 6, 1953.
- Served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He resigned from all of these positions in June 2007.
- Blair was born in Edinburgh, the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair (née Corscadden). Leo Blair, the illegitimate son of two English actors, had been adopted as a baby by Glasgow shipyard worker James Blair and his wife, Mary.
- Hazel Corscadden was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher and Orangeman who moved to Glasgow in 1916 but returned to (and later died in) Ballyshannon in 1923, where his wife, Sarah Margaret (née Lipsett), gave birth to Blair’s mother, Hazel, above her family’s grocery shop.
- After attending The Chorister School in Durham from 1961 to 1966, Blair boarded at Fettes College, a prestigious independent school in Edinburgh, during which time he met Charlie Falconer (a pupil at the rival Edinburgh Academy), whom he later appointed Lord Chancellor. He reportedly modelled himself on Mick Jagger.
- His teachers were unimpressed with him, his biographer John Rentoul, reported that “All the teachers I spoke to when researching the book said he was a complete pain in the backside and they were very glad to see the back of him.” Blair was arrested at Fettes, having been mistaken for a burglar as he climbed into his dormitory using a ladder after having been out late.
- After Fettes, Blair spent a year in London, where he attempted to find fame as a rock music promoter before reading jurisprudence at St John’s College, Oxford. As a student, he played guitar and sang in a rock band called Ugly Rumours. During this time, he dated future American Psycho director Mary Harron.
- Blair married Cherie Booth, a Roman Catholic and future Queen’s Counsel, on 29 March 1980. They have four children: Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn, and Leo. Leo, delivered by the Royal Surgeon/Gynaecologist Marcus Setchell, was the first legitimate child born to a serving Prime Minister in over 150 years—since Francis Russell was born to Lord John Russell on 11 July 1849.