Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was born May 6, 1953, in Edinburgh, Scotland. He earned his law degree from St. John’s College of the University of Oxford. He met his future wife, Cherie Booth while at Oxford. They married in 1980. They have four children.
Tony Blair’s political career began in 1983, when he first ran for a seat in the House of Commons representing the Labour Party. He joined the shadow cabinet in 1988, and went on to be elected Leader of the Opposition in 1994. In the 1990’s, Blair transformed the Labour Party’s platform. These reforms, dubbed New Labour by Blair, were meant to cast the Labour Party as more politically progressive, and to attract a more diverse electorate. New Labour emphasized the importance of social justice, crime prevention, market economics (including many new public-private partnerships), and welfare reform. It was meant to ride a line between capitalism and socialism through reforms that Blair dubbed the “Third Way.”
This new outlook led the Labour Party to a resounding victory in the general elections in 1997, and ultimately led Tony Blair to his first term as prime minister. He was the youngest prime minister since 1812, and proved to be the longest-serving Labour prime minister, having won three terms.
Blair easily won his second term in 2001, a term that was dogged by international concerns. He supported the United States in the Iraq War, thus damaging his reputation with European world leaders, who were not as supportive of the conflict. The Labour Party went on to win a third term in 2005, though it was not as resounding a win as it had been in the two prior elections. Blair resigned as prime minister in June 2007, to be succeeded by Gordon Brown, his chancellor of the Exchequer.
Between 2007 and 2015, Blair served as a special envoy to the Middle East for the Quartet of the United States, the EU, Russia, and the United Nations. In 2010, he published a memoir entitled, A Journey. In 2017, Blair founded the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.