Family tree of John MAJOR

British Politician

EnglishBorn John MAJOR

British politician

Born on March 29, 1943 in Carshalton, Surrey , United Kingdom (79 years)

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Major was born at the St. Helier Hospital in Carshalton, the son of former Music Hall performer Tom Major-Ball (né Abraham Thomas Ball), who was 64 years old when John was born. He was christened as John Roy Major, but only "John" is shown on his birth certificate. He used his middle name Roy until the early 1980s. He attended primary school at Cheam Common. From 1954, he attended Rutlish Grammar School in Merton. In 1955, with his father's garden ornaments business in decline, the family moved to Brixton. The following year, Major watched his first debate in the House of Commons, and has attributed his political ambitions to that event, and to a chance meeting with former Prime Minister Clement Attlee on the King's Road.

Major left school at age 16 in 1959, with three O-levels: History, English Language, and English Literature. He later gained three more O-levels by correspondence course, in the British Constitution, mathematics and economics. When pressed about his precise qualifications shortly after becoming Prime Minister, he answered that he couldn't remember what he had attained. His first job was as a clerk in the insurance brokerage firm Pratt & Sons in 1959. Disliking this job, he quit, and for a time he helped with his father's garden ornaments business along with his brother, Terry Major-Ball. Major joined the Young Conservatives in Brixton at this time.


Major was 19 years old when in 1962 his father died at the age of 83.

After a period of unemployment, Major started working at the London Electricity Board (where his successor as the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, also worked when he was young) in 1963, and he decided to undertake a correspondence course in banking. Major took up a post as an executive at the Standard Chartered Bank in May 1965, and he rose quickly through the ranks. He was sent to work in Nigeria by the bank in 1967, and he nearly died in a car accident there.

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Geographical origins

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