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Lord John Russell
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World Leader
    (August 18, 1792-May 28, 1878)
    Born in Mayfair, England, United Kingdom
    Member of Parliament (1813-61)
    Home Secretary (1835-39)
    Foreign Secretary (1852-53,1859-65)
    Leader of the Whig Party (1842-55)
    Leader of the Liberal Party (1865-66)
    Named First Earl Russell (1861)
    Two-time British Prime Minister (1846-52,1865-66)
    Grandfather of philosopher Bertrand Russell
    As Prime Minister, he was an ineffectual leader and got few of his proposed laws passed.
    His government never came up with an adequate response to the Irish Potato Famine of the late 1840s.
    His first government was such a failure, it led to the Whig Party's dissolution within a decade.
    In her journals, Queen Victoria called him 'impulsive, very selfish..., vain & often reckless & imprudent.'
    He was born prematurely.
    He was the principal author of the 1832 Reform Act that greatly increased the number of Britons eligible to vote.
    As Prime Minister, he did achieve passage of the Factory Act (1847) to institute a 10-hour workday maximum in factories, and the Public Health Act (1848) to improve sanitary conditions.
    He said, 'I have made mistakes, but in all I did my object was the public good.'
    Charles Dickens dedicated 'A Tale of Two Cities' to him 'In remembrance of many public services and private kindnesses.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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