Harold Wilson

Politician

1916 – 1995

 Credit »
40

Who was Harold Wilson?

James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976. He won four general elections, and is the most recent British Prime Minister to have served non-consecutive terms.

First entering Parliament in 1945, Wilson was immediately appointed the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works and rose quickly through the ministerial ranks, becoming the Secretary for Overseas Trade in 1947 and being appointed to the Cabinet just months later as the President of the Board of Trade. Later, in the Labour Shadow Cabinet, he served first as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1955 to 1961 and then as the Shadow Foreign Secretary from 1961 to 1963, when he was elected Leader of the Labour Party after the sudden death of Hugh Gaitskell. Wilson narrowly won the 1964 election, going on to win a much increased majority in a snap 1966 election.

Wilson's first period as Prime Minister coincided with a period of low unemployment and relative economic prosperity, though also of significant problems with Britain's external balance of payments. In 1969 Wilson sent British troops to Northern Ireland. After losing the 1970 general election to Edward Heath, he spent four years as Leader of the Opposition before the February 1974 general election resulted in a hung parliament. After Heath's talks with the Liberals broke down, Wilson returned to power as leader of a minority government until there was a second general election in the autumn, which resulted in a narrow Labour victory. A period of economic crisis was now beginning to hit most Western countries, and in 1976 Wilson suddenly announced his resignation as Prime Minister.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Born
Mar 11, 1916
Huddersfield
Also known as
  • ジェームズ・ハロルド・ウィルソン
  • Sir Harold Wilson
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Congregational church
Nationality
  • United Kingdom
Profession
Education
  • Jesus College, Oxford
  • University of Oxford
Died
May 24, 1995
London

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"Harold Wilson." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Apr. 2024. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/harold_wilson>.

Discuss this Harold Wilson biography with the community:

0 Comments

    Browse Biographies.net