|14th Prime Minister of Australia
7 October 1941 to 5 July 1945
John Joseph Curtin was an Australian politician who was the 14th Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 to 1945 and the Leader of the Labor Party from 1935 to 1945.
John Joseph Curtin was born in Creswick, Victoria, on 8 January 1885, eldest of four children of Irish-born parents John Curtin (1854?-1919) and his wife Catherine (Kate) Agnes, née Bourke (1859?-1938). John senior worked as a warder at Pentridge Gaol, served as a soldier, was a policeman at Creswick (1881-90), then was employed in hotels, sometimes as manager, in Melbourne and at Dromana, Charlton, Macedon and elsewhere. The family eventually settled, in poverty, at Brunswick.
John Curtin worked as an an office boy, labourer and clerk before joining the trade union movement as secretary of the Timber Workers Union (1911-16), organiser of the Australian Workers Union (1916) and editor of the Westralian Wroker in Perth from 1917 and president of the Australian Journalsits Union (1921). He was prominent in the Anti-Conscription campaign during World War I and an noted speaker.
He was elected to Federal Parliament from Fremantle (Western Australia) in 1928, lost in 1931 and returned in 1935, after which he became Labor Party Leader. Becoming Prime Minister in August 1941 during World War II, he worked himself to an early death in July 1945 just before the end of the war.
On his tombstone reads:
Profile created by Veronica Williams on 20 March 2014.
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