AKA John Winston Howard
Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Head of State
Executive summary: Prime Minister of Australia, 1996-2007
John Howard was Prime Minister of Australia from 1996 to 2007. He was a member of Parliament representing Bennelong, in the North-Western suburbs of Sydney from 1974 to 2007, when he was defeated for re-election. Prior to that, he was an attorney.
Howard's father ran a petrol station and auto garage, and legend has it that the Howard family backed the Liberal Party beginning in the late 1940s, because the Liberals backed an end to petrol rationing. Howard has always been a member of the Liberal Party, which ruled Australia in a coalition with the National Party.
As PM, Howard has called for older Australians to work longer, and delay retirement to 65. He is an opponent of asylum seekers, and seeks more restrictions on immigration. He has worked to restrict ownership of semi-automatic weapons. He also appointed a Salvation Army commander, Maj. Brian Watters, as Australia's anti-drug czar, and has toughened his nation's drug policies.
When a prominent Australian minister called for banning the chador, the Islamic women's headdress, because it could be used to conceal terrorists' weapons and explosives, Howard's immediate response was that it would obviously be better if Muslim women "were less conspicuous at this time."
Following September 11 and the October 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali which killed 202, including 88 Australians, Howard has supported America's war on terror. He sent 2,000 Australian troops to the American war on Iraq, despite massive Australian protests; Howard said the protests were giving comfort to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. In October 2003, Howard was censured by the Australian Senate for misleading the public in his arguments for Australia's involvement in that war. The action was largely a symbolic rebuke.
Father: Lyell Howard (auto mechanic)
Mother: Mona Kell
Wife: Janette Parker (teacher, m. 4-Apr-1971, one daughter, two sons)
Daughter: Melanie Rosalind Howard (b. circa 1975)
Son: Tim Howard (b. 1977)
Son: Richard Howard
High School: Canterbury Boys' High School
Law School: LLB, University of Sydney (1961)
Prime Minister of Australia (11-Mar-1996 to 3-Dec-2007)
Treasurer of Australia (1977-83)
Member of the Australian Parliament for Bennelong (1974-2007)
Liberal Party (Australia) Leader (1985-89)
Dubya Ranch Hand May-2003
Presidential Medal of Freedom Jan-2009
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