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John Howard

John Howard 2014 (cropped).jpg
25th Prime Minister of Australia
In office
11 March 1996 – 3 December 2007
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor-General Sir William Deane
Peter Hollingworth
Michael Jeffery
Deputy Tim Fischer
John Anderson
Mark Vaile
Preceded by Paul Keating
Succeeded by Kevin Rudd
29th Treasurer of Australia
In office
19 November 1977 – 11 March 1983
Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser
Preceded by Phillip Lynch
Succeeded by Paul Keating
22nd Leader of the Opposition
In office
5 September 1985 – 9 May 1989
Deputy Neil Brown
Andrew Peacock
Preceded by Andrew Peacock
Succeeded by Andrew Peacock
In office
30 January 1995 – 11 March 1996
Deputy Peter Costello
Preceded by Alexander Downer
Succeeded by Kim Beazley
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Bennelong
In office
18 May 1974 – 24 November 2007
Preceded by John Cramer
Succeeded by Maxine McKew
Personal details
Born 26 July 1939 (1939-07-26) (age 82)
Sydney, New South Wales
Political party Liberal Party
Other political
Spouse(s) Janette Parker
Children 3
Alma mater University of Sydney

John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is a former Australian politician who was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia from 11 March 1996 to 3 December 2007. John Howard is the second longest serving prime minister of Australia after Robert Menzies. John Howard is a member of the Liberal Party.

John Howard was a lawyer before he became a politician. He was in parliament from 1974 until 2007. From 1977 to 1983 he was the Treasurer in Malcolm Fraser's government. Malcolm Fraser lost the 1983 election to Bob Hawke. On 24 November 2007, John Howard lost to Kevin Rudd and his parliamentary seat to Maxine McKew. He became the second prime minister to lose a parliamentary seat after Stanley Bruce in 1929.

Early life

John Howard boy
John Howard as a boy

John Howard is the fourth son of Mona (nee Kell) and Lyall Howard. His parents were married in 1925. His eldest brother Stanley was born in 1926, followed by Walter in 1929, and Robert (Bob) in 1936. Lyall Howard was an admirer of Winston Churchill, and a sympathiser with the New Guard. Howard's ancestors were English, Scottish and Irish.

Howard was born and raised in the Sydney suburb of Earlwood, in a Methodist family. His mother had been an office worker until her marriage. His father and his paternal grandfather, Walter Howard, were both veterans of the First AIF in World War I. They also ran two Dulwich Hill petrol stations. Howard worked there as a boy.

Howard suffered from a hearing impairment in his youth. It ruled out the chances of him becoming a barrister as a likely career from his mind. To this day, John wears a hearing aid.

Prime Minister

First term

One of Howard's first initiatives was to unite the state governments of Australia to place a ban on gun ownership in Australia. This move came after the Port Arthur Massacre in Tasmania in 1996. In 1998, Howard and his Treasurer, Peter Costello took a big tax reform (the GST) to the election and won.

Second term

In 1999 John Howard's government held a referendum on whether Australia should become a republic and have a President instead of a Queen. However, John Howard did not support the referendum and urged people to vote no. The Australian Labor Party opposition led by Kim Beazley criticised John Howard's handling of the 1998 Australian Waterfront Dispute.

In 1999, Howard led a United Nations force into East Timor (INTERFET), to help them set up an independent democracy.

Third term

John Howard in 2003

After the September 11 attacks, John Howard was involved in world issues. He was close with George W. Bush who was the leader of the United States. George Bush called John Howard a "key ally". John Howard sent SAS troops to Afghanistan and Iraq to support the United States, and signed a free trade agreement with the United States. Despite this alliance, Australia remained fairly neutral on Israel and Palestine.

Like before Howard, Australian trade with Asia got bigger while John Howard was leader. He invited the Chinese leader Hu Jintao to speak to the Australian Parliament for the first time. After the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, John Howard called the President of Indonesia and offered a billion dollars to help. John Howard increased immigration a lot and people came to Australia from all over the world, but he tried to stop boats of people coming without asking for visas first.

Fourth term

Vladimir Putin with John Howard-1
John Howard with Vladimir Putin at the 2007 APEC sumit

Australia was successful while John Howard was leader. In 2005, he made it easier for bosses to get rid of workers by introducing the controversial WorkChoices industrial legislation introduced by his Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews. This upset people and the Labor Party became more popular. On 24 November 2007, Kevin Rudd won an election and John Howard stopped being Prime Minister. John Howard also lost his seat in the Parliament to the Labor Party candidate Maxine McKew, a former ABC TV journalist.

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