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Facts: Life and times of Tony Blair

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LONDON, England (CNN) -- As Tony Blair's time in office draws to a close, here are some key facts about Britain's long-serving prime minister.


• Birth date: May 6, 1953

• Birth place: Edinburgh, Scotland

• Birth name: Anthony Charles Lynton Blair

• Parents: Leo Charles Blair and Hazel Corscadden

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

• Children: Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn, Leo. A fifth child died as a result of a miscarriage in August 2002.

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

• Religion: Church of England

Career Highlights:

• 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, but impresses Labour Party members with his ambition and ability.

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

• 1984-1988 - Front bench spokesman for Labour Party

• 1988 - Is promoted to shadow cabinet as shadow secretary of energy.

• 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.

• 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 6, 2005 - London is awarded the 2012 Olympics and Blair makes a public statement celebrating the win.

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

• July 8, 2005 - Blair holds a press conference, summing up the accomplishments/events of the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, which he hosted.

• May 4, 2006 - Blair's Labour party suffers a major loss in local elections, coming in third. Labour leaders call for him to step down. In a controversial move, Blair replaces Foreign Secretary Jack Straw with Margaret Beckett.

• 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.

• December 26, 2006 - The Blairs are passengers on a British Airways plane that overshoots the runway at Miami International Airport. No one is hurt, and the plane is not damaged.

• May 3, 2007 - Blair's Labour party suffers losses in local elections in England as well as national elections in Scotland and Wales. In Scotland, the Scottish National Party ends 50 years of Labour dominance when it becomes the largest party in the Scottish Parliament.

• May 7, 2007 - Blair congratulates French president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy via two videos posted on YouTube, a popular video sharing Web site. Blair's office claims that Blair is the first world leader to have his own YouTube channel.

• May 8, 2007 - Protestant Unionism leader Ian Paisley and former arch-foe Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander, were sworn in as Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive. The landmark capped 10 years of Blair's work for peace.

• May 10, 2007 - Blair is expected to announce his resignation as Labour party leader and British prime minister.

Other Facts:

• Although born in Scotland, Blair spent most of his childhood in Durham, England.

• His son, Leo, was born in May 2000, and 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.

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

• Supports switching the British currency to the euro, but the British public is opposed to it.

• Told his family he might lose his job over his decision to support the war in Iraq.

Tony Blair was the only leader ever to win three successive elections for the Labour Party, the third of those successes coming after the Iraq war.


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