Michael Oakeshott was born in Chelsfield, Kent, on 11 December 1901, the second of three sons of Joseph Francis Oakeshott, a civil servant and member of the Fabian Society, and his wife, Frances Maude Oakeshott (nee Hellicar). He was educated at St George's School Harpenden, a progressive co-educational school, and then read history at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, graduating in 1923. He went on to study in Germany, including the universities of Marburg and Tubingen. He also worked briefly as an English teacher at Lytham St Anne's Grammar School. In 1925 he was elected/appointed Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He enlisted as a gunner in the British Army in 1940 and by  was in command of a squadron of GHQ Liaison ('Phantom') Regiment attached to the Canadian Second Army in Holland. He returned to Cambridge when the war ended in 1945. In 1949 he went to Oxford as a fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, and in 1951 he was appointed to the chair of political science at the London School of Economics. In the early 1960s he established a one-year Master's degree seminar at the London School of Economics (LSE) on the history of political thought. He retired from the LSE in 1969, although he continued to preside over the history of political thought seminars until his late seventies.
In 1927, he married Joyce Margaret Fricker. They had one son, Simon, born in 1931. The marriage was dissolved in 1938 and in the same year he married Katherine Alice Burton. They divorced in 1951. In 1965, Oakeshott married Christel Schneider. He died at his home in Acton, near Langton Matravers, Dorset, on 18 December 1990.
From the guide to the OAKESHOTT, Michael Joseph (1901-1990): political scientist, c1880-c1995, (British Library of Political and Economic Science)