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Gordon Brown Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 6:14 PM EST, Sat February 8, 2014

(CNN) -- Here's a look at the life of former British prime minister, Gordon Brown.

Personal:
Birth date: February 20, 1951

Birth place: Glasgow, Scotland

Birth name: James Gordon Brown

Father: John Brown, a Church of Scotland minister

Mother: Jessie Elizabeth "Bunty" (Souter) Brown

Marriage: Sarah (Macaulay) Brown (August 3, 2000-present)

Children: James Fraser, July 17, 2006; John, October 17, 2003; Jennifer Jane, (December 28, 2001-January 7, 2002)

Education: Edinburgh University, M.A., History, 1972; Edinburgh University, Ph.D., History, 1982

Religion: Church of Scotland (Presbyterian)

Other Facts:
Is blind in his left eye and has lost most of the sight in his right eye, the result of being kicked in the head during a rugby game as a teenager.

Jennifer Jane died of a cerebral hemorrhage, 10 days after she was born prematurely.

Timeline:
1972-1975 - Youngest ever Rector at the University of Edinburgh.

1976-1980 - Lecturer/professor at Glasgow College of Technology.

1980-1983 - Journalist and current affairs editor at Scottish TV.

1983-1984 - Chairman of the Labour Party in Scotland.

1983-2005 - Member of Parliament (MP) representing Dunfermline East.

1987-1989 - Shadow (Opposition) Chief Secretary of the Treasury.

1989- 1992 - Shadow (Opposition) Spokesman for Trade and Industry.

1992-1997 - Shadow Chancellor of Britain.

1997-2007 - Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasury), the branch of the British government responsible for collecting and managing the government's finances.

2005 - Is elected MP representing Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, towns in the Fife area of Scotland.

2006 - Brown's son James Fraser is diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age four months.

May 11, 2007 - Launches his campaign to become prime minister, "Gordon Brown for Britain." Tony Blair officially endorses his candidacy.

May 16, 2007 - Receives 313 nominations from Labour MPs, guaranteeing that he will win leadership unopposed.

June 11, 2007 - Makes a surprise visit to Iraq and meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

June 24, 2007 - Tony Blair hands over leadership of the Labour Party to Brown during a conference of party members in Manchester, England.

June 27, 2007 - Becomes the prime minister of the United Kingdom.

July 29, 2007 - Brown meets with U.S. President George W. Bush at Camp David, his first visit to the United States as prime minister.

February 18, 2008 - Signs legislation nationalizing the mortgage bank Northern Rock, the first time since 1984 that the government has rescued a British bank.

April 15, 2008 - Arrives in the U.S. for a trip that includes a meeting at the U.N., discussions with President George W. Bush on economic/diplomatic ties, and introductions to the remaining presidential candidates.

May 23, 2008 - Meets with the Dalai Lama at the Archbishop of Canterbury's London residence. China condemns the meeting and says, "This interferes in China's internal affairs and hurts the Chinese people's feelings as well."

December 17, 2008 - Announces that British troops will withdraw from Iraq before June 2009.

March 2, 2009 - Arrives at Andrews Air Force Base for a week of meetings, some with President Barack Obama at the White House.

June 2009 - Reorganizes his Cabinet after scandals and several resignations. Also agrees to closed-door hearings on Britain's role in the Iraq war.

February 2010 - Candid interview for British television revealing Brown's human side airs. Brown talks openly for the first time about the death of his first child, Jennifer Jane, his son Fraser's illness and his relationship with Tony Blair.

March 6, 2010 - Visits British troops in Afghanistan and promises them 200 new patrol vehicles more resistant to roadside bombs.

May 11, 2010 - Resigns as prime minister after the Labour Party comes in second in parliamentary elections held May 6th. He will stay on as the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

July 11, 2011 - The Guardian newspaper publishes allegations that the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper The Sun illegally obtained details about Brown's son and published a story about the child's illness. Brown responds in a statement saying, "The family has been shocked by the level of criminality and the unethical means by which personal details have been obtained. The matter is in police hands."

July 12, 2011 - The Sun issues a denial that it illegally obtained information about Gordon Brown's son.

July 12, 2011 - Brown accuses the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sunday Times newspaper of having "links with criminals" and alleges that the newspaper illegally gathered information on his bank account, legal files and taxes.

June 11, 2012 - Appears before the Leveson Inquiry discussing his personal experiences with The Sun newspaper and Rupert Murdoch, his feelings on the rights of the media versus the rights of the citizenry, and issues with several British politicians.

July 2012 - Is appointed United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

September 2012 - Visits Pakistan as Special Envoy.

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