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Martin Gilbert
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Author
    (October 25, 1936-February 3, 2015)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Historian and biographer
    Succeeded Randolph Churchill as Winston Churchill's official biographer
    Wrote the final six volumes of Winston Churchill's eight-volume biography (1971-88)
    Also wrote 'The Roots of Appeasement' (1966), 'British History Atlas' (1968), 'American History Atlas' (1968), 'Jewish History Atlas' (1969), 'Russian History Atlas' (1972), 'Exile and Return: The Emergence of Jewish Statehood' (1978), 'Auschwitz and the Allies' (1981), 'Jews of Hope: The Plight of Soviet Jewry Today' (1984), 'The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy' (1986), 'The Second World War' (1989), 'A History of the 20th Century' (3 volumes, 1997-99), 'The First World War' (2002) and 'The Story of Israel' (2008)
    Knighted for services to history and international relations (1995)
    He was married three times, divorced twice.
    He admitted that if he had known completing Churchill's biography would take two decades, he probably would not have accepted the position.
    Many critics felt that his inclusion of reams of data in his works limited their readability.
    He claimed that George W. Bush and Tony Blair 'may well, with the passage of time, join the ranks of Roosevelt and Churchill.'
    Because of that comment, there were protests that he would be biased when he was named to the Chilcot Inquiry investigating Britain's role in the Iraq war (2009).
    He sifted through fifteen tons of archival records to write Churchill's biography.
    He generally avoided editorializing, saying 'I’m quite content to be a narrative chronicler, a slave of the facts.'
    He said, 'My aim is to write history from the human perspective, never to neglect the person known as 'the common man.'
    In pursuit of that goal, his research into Winston Churchill's life included interviewing his secretaries, chauffeurs and gardeners.
    He was an advisor on Middle Eastern affairs to several British prime ministers.

Credit: C. Fishel


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