World Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born March 11: Harold Wilson

March 11, 2016 03:30 AM

  • Harold Wilson, the longtime prime minister of the United Kingdom, was honored on a British first-class stamp in 2014.

By Michael Baadke

Today marks the 100th birth anniversary of former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who was born James Harold Wilson in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England, on March 11, 1916.

He studied at Oxford University and during World War II served in the Ministry of Fuel and Power.

Wilson began his lengthy service in Parliament with his 1945 election. As Labour Party leader, he became prime minister in 1964, serving until 1970, when he was handed an unexpected defeat. He returned to the office in 1974 and surprised the nation two years later by abruptly retiring. He continued in Parliament until 1983, when he was created Baron Wilson of Rievaulx.

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Harold Wilson married Mary Baldwin on Jan. 1, 1940, and they had two sons: Robin (born 1943) and Giles (born 1948).

Wilson died May 24, 1995, after a lengthy illness. He was commemorated on a first-class stamp issued Oct. 14, 2014, in the Prime Ministers set of eight (Scott 3329).