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Tony Blair Fast Facts

By CNN Library
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1705 GMT (0105 HKT)

(CNN) -- Here's a quick look at the life of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Personal:
Birth date: May 6, 1953

Birth place: Edinburgh, Scotland.

Birth name: Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

Father: Leo Charles Blair, a lawyer

Mother: Hazel (Corscadden) Blair

Marriage: Cherie (Booth) Blair (1980-present)

Children: Leo (May 2000), Kathryn (March 1988), Nicholas (December 1985) and Euan (January 1984)

Education: B.A. St. John's College, Oxford, 1975

Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Facts:
Although born in Scotland, Blair spent most of his childhood in Durham, England.

His son, Leo, was the first baby born to a serving prime minister in 150 years.

In his youth, acted in plays and sang in a rock band.

Blair moved the Labour Party to more centrist position by reducing influence of trade unions and dropping the Party's goal of "collective ownership."

The Labour Party's first prime minister to serve two successive terms.

Timeline:
1976-1983 - After finishing his law studies at Oxford, practices as a barrister in London.

1982 - Loses an attempt to win a seat in parliament for the district of Beaconsfield.

1983 - Wins a seat in parliament for Sedgefield, near Durham.

1984-1988 - Front bench spokesman for Labour Party.

1988 - Is promoted to the shadow cabinet as shadow secretary of energy. The shadow party is the main opposition party that monitors and polices the official cabinet.

1992 - Is appointed shadow home secretary.

July 21, 1994 - Becomes the youngest leader of the Labour Party after previous leader John Smith dies of a heart attack.

May 1997 - Blair leads the Labour Party to win 419 seats in the House of Commons and its first electoral victory since 1979. Blair becomes prime minister, succeeding John Major.

June 7, 2001 - Blair is re-elected in general elections by a landslide.

October 19, 2003 - Blair is hospitalized after suffering irregular heart rhythms.

May 5, 2005 - Reelected to a third term.

July 7, 2005 - Blair makes a public statement from the G8 Summit on the terror attacks on London's transportation system.

December 14, 2006 - Blair becomes the first serving prime minister questioned as part of a criminal inquiry; police speak with Blair regarding a "cash for honors" inquiry, in which political parties are accused of loans from donors in return for political appointments. Blair is questioned as a witness.

May 3, 2007 - Blair's Labour party suffers losses in local elections in England as well as national elections in Scotland and Wales.

May 10, 2007 - Blair announces he will tender his resignation to the Queen on June 27, 2007.

June 24, 2007 - Blair hands over leadership of the Labour Party to Gordon Brown during a conference of party members in Manchester, northern England. Brown will become prime minister when Blair tenders his resignation to the Queen.

June 27, 2007 - Tenders his resignation to Queen Elizabeth. Gordon Brown becomes prime minister of the United Kingdom. Hours later, Blair is appointed by the Quartet (the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations) as special envoy to the Middle East. His job will require he "mobilize international assistance to the Palestinians;" help gain support in addressing the Palestinians' governance needs; create plans to help Palestinians develop economically; and work with other countries "as appropriate in support of the agreed Quartet objectives."

March 7, 2008 - Yale University announces that Blair has been named the Howland Distinguished Fellow for the 2008-2009 school year. He will participate in seminars and on-campus activities throughout the year.

May 30, 2008 - Blair launches The Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Its goal is to encourage "inter-faith initiatives to tackle global poverty and to improve understanding of the great religions through education at every level."

January 13, 2009 - Is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President George W. Bush.

February 2009 - Opens an economic and political consulting firm called Tony Blair Associates, (TBA).

January 2010 - Firerush Ventures No. 3 is registered with the Financial Service Authority of Britain as an investment firm with TBA.

January 29, 2010 - Blair is questioned by Britain's Iraq Inquiry about decisions he made leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Blair defends his decision to support the war.

September 1, 2010 - Publishes his memoir, "A Journey."

January 21, 2011 - Blair testifies before the Iraq Inquiry for a second time to clear up inconsistencies in his previous testimony.

May 28, 2012 - Testifies before the Leveson committee (an independent inquiry set up in response to phone hacking and alleged police bribery at Murdoch newspapers in Britain) that he came under "political pressure" from Rupert Murdoch during his time in office. He also denies being "too cozy" with Murdoch.

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