Winston Churchill’s roots were British and American. He was uniquely placed to stand up for the shared values of freedom and liberty so nearly lost in those dark days of 1940. Churchill’s beautiful and captivating mother, Jennie Jerome, born in Brooklyn in 1854, was a New Yorker through and through. She met Lord Randolph Spencer Churchill in a whirlwind romance, and they married against both parents’ wishes. But she was no social butterfly. She cultivated an amazing personal network, and she left no stone unturned in her determination to advance her eldest son’s career. Less known but no less striking are her personal roles: providing relief to sufferers during the Irish famine; nursing the wounded in the Boer War, for which she organized her own hospital ship; and, in the First World War, helping to run hospitals. She had passion, grit and determination to improve her society, and there can be no doubt that today she would be one of the great political power brokers. But working within the constraints of her time, she sought to influence through others.
Randolph Churchill, with help from his sister Jennie – her great-great-grandmother’s namesake – brought light and focus on this remarkable woman and the role she played in the Churchill story.
This lecture, part of The Tina Santi Flaherty-Winston Churchill Literary Series, was presented in partnership with The Writing Center at Hunter College and the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.
Randolph Churchill was born on the 22nd of January 1965 shortly before the death of his great grandfather, Sir Winston Churchill. After attending Harrow Randolph undertook a short service commission in the Royal Navy and served as Gunnery Officer of HMS Alderney in the coastal protection squadron. On completion of the Navigating Officer Course he was appointed Navigator of HMS Swallow in the Hong Kong Squadron and promoted to Lieutenant. Subsequently, Randolph attended Buckingham University where he was awarded a degree in Financial Management and Accountancy. He worked briefly for Goldman Sachs in New York before joining Deloitte and Touche where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.
In 1995 Randolph joined Lazard Asset Management, becoming Director of the Charities Division. In 2000 Randolph joined Schroder Private Bank and in 2003 he moved to Rathbones where he is an Investment Director.
Randolph is a Trustee of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Director of the Armed Services Charities Advisory Company (that oversees the investment for over 100 service charities), Trustee of the Sir Winston Churchill Archives Trust & Trustee of the Churchill Centre. Randolph and his wife Catherine have four children (Serena, Zoe, Alice and John Winston) aged between 5 and 16 years old and they live just a few miles from Chartwell.