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Sir Harold Wilson
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Sir Harold Wilson  (1916-1995) w2218

Harold Wilson first entered Parliament in 1945, and as a member of the labour party became prime minister in 1964.  He served until 1970, when he was unexpectedly
defeated, but was elected again in 1974.  In 1976 he surprised many by resigning as
prime minister, but was knighted the same year, and retained his seat in  Commons
until he was created a life peer in 1983.  Sir Harold Wilson was the longest searving
Labour prime minister.  He passed away in 1995.

While I was photographing him we talked about the famous portrait of Winston Churchill taken by Yousuf Karsh.  Mr. Wilson told me Churchill was preoccupied with the war and Karsh was not having any luck keeping his attention during the portrait session.  With his 8x10 view camera ready, Karsh snatched the cigar from the Englishman’s mouth
and as the prime minister glared in disbelief, the world’s most famous photograph was taken.  Harold Wilson told me it was Churchill’s favorite photograph of himself and he told Karsh he was impressed that the photographer was able to make a roaring lion sit still.  Karsh entitled the photo, Roaring Lion.  Mr. Wilson also told me that a portrait was painted of every prime minister and Winston Churchill  hated his so much that he had one of the gardeners secretly wrap up and bury his oil painting somewhere in the gardens of Number 10 Downing Street.

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