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Leopold Amery

(1873 - 1955)

Leopold Amery was born in Gorakhpur, India, on November 22, 1873. Educated at Harrow and Balliol College, Oxford, he worked as chief correspondent for The Times during the Boer War. He also edited seven volume, The Times History of the South African War (1900-09).

A member of the Conservative Party, in 1911 Amery was elected to represent Sparkbrook, Birmingham, in the House of Commons. Amery, who recent research has revealed was Jewish, wrote the Balfour Declaration. As the assistant secretary to the British war cabinet in 1917, Amery also helped to create the Jewish Legion.

In the government headed by David Lloyd George, he served as under-secretary of state for the colonies (1919-21). This was followed by the post of First Lord of the Admiralty (1922-24) and then colonial secretary (1924-29).

Amery lost office when Ramsay MacDonald and the Labour Party formed the government in 1929. He remained out of office throughout the 1930s and emerged as one of the party's leading critics of the government's appeasement policy.

In 1940, Neville Chamberlain appointed Amery as secretary of state for India and Burma. His son, John Amery, made pro-Nazi broadcasts during the Second World War. He also made speeches in favor of Adolf Hitler in occupied Europe and after the war was executed for high treason.

After his retirement from politics Amery published his autobiography, My Political Life (1955). Leopold Amery died in London on September 16, 1955.

Sources: Spartacus Educational