John Howard is the fourth son of Lyall Howard and
Mona (née Kell). His parents were married in 1925. His
eldest brother Stanley was born in 1926, followed by Walter in
1929, and Robert (Bob) in 1936. Lyall Howard was an admirer of
Winston Churchill and a sympathiser with the New Guard.
grew up in the Sydney suburb of Earlwood in a Methodist family.
His mother had been an office worker until her marriage. His
father and his paternal grandfather, Walter Howard, were both
veterans of the First AIF in World War I. They also ran two
Dulwich Hill petrol stations where John Howard worked as a boy.
Lyall Howard died in 1955 when John was sixteen, leaving his
mother to take care of John (or "Jack" as he was also known).
Howard suffered a hearing impairment in his
youth, leaving him with a slight speech impediment, and he
continues to wear a hearing aid. It also influenced him in
subtle ways, limiting his early academic performance;
encouraging a reliance on an excellent memory; and in his mind
ruling out becoming a barrister as a likely career.
Howard attended the publicly funded state
schools Earlwood Primary School and Canterbury Boys' High
School. Howard won a citizenship prize in his final year at
Earlwood (presented by local politician Eric Willis), and
subsequently represented his secondary school at debating as
well as cricket and rugby. Cricket remained a life-long hobby.
In his final year at school he took part in a radio show hosted
by Jack Davey, Give It a Go broadcast on the commercial
radio station, 2GB, and a recording of the show survives. After
gaining his Leaving Certificate, he studied law at the
University of Sydney, graduating in 1961, and subsequently
practicing as a solicitor for twelve years.
Howard married fellow Liberal Party member
Janette Parker in 1971, with whom he had three children: Melanie
(1974), Tim (1977) and Richard (1980).
John Winston Howard, Australian statesman and prime minister (March
11, 1996 to December 3, 2007)
was educated at Sydney University. He became a solicitor, and was elected Liberal MP for Bennelong, New South Wales, in 1974. He held ministerial posts in business and trade before becoming Federal Treasurer (1977-83) and deputy-leader (1983-5) then leader of the Liberal Party in Opposition (1985-9, 1995-6).
He became prime minister following his party's general election victory in 1996, and remained as head of a Liberal-National Party coalition following the 1998 election. He won a third term in 2001.
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