John Howard Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
John Howard was an Australian politician and the 25th Prime Minister of the country. Born on July 26, 1939, John Howard served four terms in office from March 11, 1996, to December 3, 2007. Before entering into politics full time, Howard worked as a solicitor at Clayton Utz. In 1968, John Howard unsuccessfully contested for office during the New South Wales state elections. In 1974, John Howard successfully contested for the Division of Bennelong in the federal elections. He would represent the area until 2007. In 1977, John Howard became the Treasurer of Australia and held it until 1983.
Two years on, John Howard replaced Andrew Peacock as the of the Liberal Party and Opposition Leader, and after the party lost to the Labour in the 1987 election, John Howard removed in 1989. He returned to leadership in 1995 and led a Coalition to victory in the federal election the following year. John Howard subsequently became the prime minister of the country. During his term in office, John Howard introduced new gun laws, a nationwide valued added tax, and industrial reforms. During the 2007 federal elections, the Labour Party led by Kelvin Rudd defeated took over power. John Howard even lost his own seat during that election, becoming the second prime minister after Stanley Bruce in 1929 to suffer such defeat.
Early Life And Education
John Howard was born to Mona (née Kell) and Lyall Howard on July 26, 1939, in Earlwood in Sydney, Australia. He was the fourth child of his parents with siblings including Stanley, Walter, and Robert. John Howard received his early education at the Earlwood Primary School and continued at Canterbury Boy’s High School. At the high school, John Howard representing the school in debates and was active in sports playing cricket and ruby. His father died in 1955 when John Howard was sixteen years, and since then Mona took charge of his upbringing.
John Howard, during his youth, suffered hearing impairment and that affected his speech. This resulted in his use of hearing aid. John Howard enrolled at the University of Sydney where he studied law and graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree in 1961. After receiving his law degree, John Howard practiced as a solicitor for twelve years.
John Howard became active in politics in 1957, when John Howard joined the Liberal Party as a member of the New South Wales state executives. From 1962 to 1964, he served as the president of the Young Liberals. John Howard served as the campaign manager for Tom Hughes for the seat of Parkes during the 1963 federal elections, which Hughes won. John Howard gained the endorsement of the party to contest for the state seat of Drummoybe during the 1968 elections. John Howard was however unsuccessful as the incumbent Reg Coady narrowly beat him to retain the seat.
In 1974, John Howard contested and won the Division of Bennelong during that year federal elections. After Malcolm Fraser won the 1965 federal election and took office, John Howard was appointed the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs. John Howard held that position until 1977. John Howard was then appointed the Treasurer of Australia in December 1977 and would serve in that capacity until 1983 when the Labour party led by Hawk came to office.
In opposition, John Howard became the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the parliamentary party. In 1985, John Howard contested and won to become the Leader of the Liberal Party and Opposition leader. As opposition leader, John Howard introduced several reforms and consistently attacked the Labour government by offering alternative policies. However, there was leadership struggle in the party between John Howard and the former leader Andrew Peacock leading to the party loss in the 1989 elections. After the loss, Peacock replaced John Howard as the party and opposition leader.
John Howard then became the Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on the Public Service, Shadow Minister for Industry, Technology and Communications and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Manager of Opposition Business in the House. In 1996, John Howard again contested for the leadership of the Liberal Party and won. He then led the Liberal-National Coalition in the 1996 election and won handsomely.
After the outstanding victory, John Howard was sworn into office as Prime Minister on March 11, 1996, for his first term. Following the Port Arthur massacre through which 35 people died, John Howard successful championed a new gun restriction law despite strong oppositions even from within his party. John Howard subsequent won elections in 1998 to 2000, 2001 to 2004 and from 2004 to 2007. In the election that followed on November 24, 2007, the Liberal suffered a great defeat with John Howard losing his Bennelong seat. This made John Howard the second prime minister after Stanley Bruce to suffer that fate.
In 1971, John Howard married a fellow Liberal Party member, Janette Parker. The couple had three children, Melanie, Tim, and Richard. In October 2010, he released his autobiography, Lazarus Rising: A Personal and Political Autobiography.
In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II awarded John Howard the Member of the Order of Merit. He received Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2009, Companion of the Order of Australia in 2008, Star of Solomon Island, 2005 and Commonwealth Award of Distinguished Service among several others.