Clement Attlee

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951

Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee KG OM CH PC FRS (3 January 1883 – 8 October 1967) was a British politician. Prime Minister from 1945 to 1951, he was the first Labour prime minister with a majority in government, and was very important in the setting up of the welfare state. He was made a member of the House of Lords after he retired, and became the first Earl Attlee.

The Earl Attlee

Clement Attlee, around 1945
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
26 July 1945 – 26 October 1951
MonarchGeorge VI
DeputyHerbert Morrison
Preceded byWinston Churchill
Succeeded byWinston Churchill
Leader of the Opposition
In office
26 October 1951 – 25 November 1955
Prime Minister
Preceded byWinston Churchill
Succeeded byHerbert Morrison
In office
23 May 1945 – 26 July 1945
MonarchGeorge VI
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byArthur Greenwood
Succeeded byWinston Churchill
In office
25 October 1935 – 11 May 1940
Prime Minister
Preceded byGeorge Lansbury
Succeeded byHastings Lees-Smith
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
25 October 1935 – 7 December 1955
Preceded byGeorge Lansbury
Succeeded byHugh Gaitskell
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
In office
25 October 1932 – 25 October 1935
LeaderGeorge Lansbury
Preceded byJ. R. Clynes
Succeeded byArthur Greenwood
Personal details
Clement Richard Attlee

(1883-01-03)3 January 1883
Putney, Surrey, England
Died8 October 1967(1967-10-08) (aged 84)
Westminster, London, England
Resting placeWestminster Abbey
Political partyLabour
Violet Millar
(m. 1922; died 1964)
Children4, including Martin, 2nd Earl Attlee
Alma mater
  • Lawyer
  • politician
  • soldier
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/service British Army
Years of service1914–1919
Wartime ministerial offices
Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
19 February 1942 – 23 May 1945
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byHerbert Morrison
Lord President of the Council
In office
24 September 1943 – 23 May 1945
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded bySir John Anderson
Succeeded byThe Lord Woolton
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
In office
15 February 1942 – 24 September 1943
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded byThe Viscount Cranborne
Succeeded byThe Viscount Cranborne
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
In office
11 May 1940 – 15 February 1942
Prime MinisterWinston Churchill
Preceded bySir Kingsley Wood
Succeeded bySir Stafford Cripps
Interwar ministerial offices
Postmaster General
In office
13 March 1931 – 25 August 1931
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byHastings Lees-Smith
Succeeded byWilliam Ormsby-Gore
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
23 May 1930 – 13 March 1931
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded bySir Oswald Mosley
Succeeded byThe Lord Ponsonby
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for War
In office
23 January 1924 – 4 November 1924
Prime MinisterRamsay MacDonald
Preceded byWilfrid Ashley
Succeeded byRichard Onslow
Parliamentary offices
Member of the House of Lords
Hereditary peerage
16 December 1955 – 8 October 1967
Preceded byEarldom created
Succeeded byThe 2nd Earl Attlee
Member of Parliament
for Walthamstow West
In office
23 February 1950 – 16 December 1955
Preceded byValentine McEntee
Succeeded byEdward Redhead
Member of Parliament
for Limehouse
In office
15 November 1922 – 3 February 1950
Preceded bySir William Pearce
Succeeded byConstituency abolished

Attlee died of pneumonia in 1967. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Early life and education


Attlee was born in Putney. Attlee was educated at Haileybury College. He graduated from University College, Oxford with a Second Class Honours BA in Modern History in 1904.



Attlee began a career as a barrister after graduating from Oxford. This lasted for two years. He then worked as manager of Haileybury House in East London. Attlee's work at the House inspired him to become a socialist. In 1907 he joined the Fabian Society. In 1908 he joined the Independent Labour Party. In 1911, he was employed by the UK Government. In 1919 Attlee became Mayor of Stepney. He was elected to Parliament in 1922 as the MP for Limehouse., In 1935 he was elected leader of the Labour Party. From 1942 to 1945 he was deputy prime minister. Attlee resigned as party leader after Labour lost the 1955 election. He was made a member of the Order of Merit in 1951 and a Knight of the Garter in 1956. In 1958 he started the Homosexual Reform Society with Bertrand Russell.