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Sir Edward Heath's Biography

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Sir Edward Heath was born on 9 July 1916, the son of a carpenter and of a housemaid.

Ted Heath went to Balliol College Oxford and was President of the Oxford Union in 1939.

He was an anti-fascist, although he shook Himmler's hand at the Nuremberg Rally.

He saw action in World War 2 and rose to the rank of major.

Ted Heath was elected MP for Bexley in 1950. He became Conservative Party leader in 1965 and was Prime Minister from 1970 to 1974.

After the Conservative Party ditched him in favour of Mrs Thatcher, Ted Heath gained a reputation for striking a discordant note.

Andrew Rawnsley called him the 'Leader of Her Majesty's Disloyal Opposition'; Robin Oakley referred to Heath's 'longest sulk in history'; and Mark Lawson dubbed Heath the 'Angry Old Man'.

Ted Heath was a pro-European, who also urged closer ties with China.

Sir Edward Heath died in July 2005 having become the Father of the House of Commons, i.e. the longest-serving MP.

Aside from his life in politics, Ted Heath was an accomplished yachtsman and musical conductor. He captained Britain's Admiral Cup winning team in 1971 (whilst he was Prime Minister).

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