Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was descended from a long line of English aristocrat-politicians ("Winston S.”). His father was Lord Randolph Churchill was the descendant of the First Duke of Marlborough, while his mother was Jennie Jerome, an American whose family had fought for independence of the American colonies in George Washington’s armies ("Winston Churchill Biography”). Jennie Jerome’s father was also a stock speculator and part owner of The New York Times (“Winston S.”). Winston Churchill was born at the large palace of the Duke of Marlborough on November 30, 1874 (“The Life”). Lady Randolph hired a nanny to care for Winston named Mrs. Elizabeth Everest, to whom Winston was quite close (ibid). Winston fondly called Mrs. Everest “Woomany,” and later in his life, he would say that “My nurse was my confidante. Mrs. Everest it was who looked after me and tended all my wants. It was to her that I poured out all my many troubles…” (ibid).
From 1882 through 1884, Winston attended St. George’s School, Ascot, and he had to leave home for weeks at a time in order to have lessons under masters (“The Life”). He would later write that he greatly missed his toys at home while he was away (ibid). From 1884 to 1888, he then went to The Misses Thompson’s Preparatory School, where he learned things such as French, history, poetry, horse riding, and swimming (ibid). In April 1888, he was sent to Harrow School, a boys boarding school near London ("Winston Churchill Biography”). He did not have an easy time at Harrow, and he was not considered a good student (“The Life”). Winston would later write, “I was on the whole considerably discouraged by my school days” (ibid). He did quite badly at Harrow, and as a result, he did not even apply to good schools such as Oxford or Cambridge ("Winston S.”). Instead, in 1893 Winston Churchill went to military school at Sandhurst after finally passing the entrance exam on his third try (“Winston S.”). At the time, it didn’t seem like a military career was a good choice for Churchill, but he was able to have a new beginning at Sandhurst (“The Life”). He found his work there exciting, and he ended up graduating with honors as one of the top students in his class (ibid).
After he left Sandhurst, Churchill became a soldier and journalist and traveled all over the British Empire ("Winston S.”). He joined the Fourth Hussars in 1895 and served in the Indian northwest frontier and the Sudan ("Winston Churchill Biography”). During this time, he wrote military reports for the newspapers The Pioneer and the Daily Telegraph (ibid). In 1899, the London Morning Post sent him to cover the Boer War in South Africa, but he was captured by enemy soldiers as soon as he arrived ("Winston S.”). He escaped through a bathroom window and traveled almost 300 miles to Portuguese territory in Mozambique ("Winston Churchill Biography”). This fearless escape made headlines and caused him to become a minor celebrity...