Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace on 30 November 1874. HIs family was a famous one. His father, Lord Randolph Churchill, became a Member of Parliament, a brilliant orator, and a Cabinet Minister. The Churchills were direct descendants of the first Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, be hero of the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. All his life, Churchill was proud of his great ancestor, 'Duke John'. As a school boy, he learned by heart the description of Marlborough´s victories carved in stone on the great column at Blenheim Palace. When Churchill was a boy, and a guest at Blenheim Palace, he would study the tapestries time and time again. In the 1930's he devoted nearly five years to writing a four-volume history of his ancestor´s career.
Churchill's mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, was an American, with Red Indian blood in her veins; a beautiful woman, and a friend of many leading figures of British society. Among her friends were politicians, writers, and artists. From her, Churchill acquired the traditions of the English aristocracy:self-condfidence, ambition, and a desire to get to the root of the matter. From his mother came that pioneering spririt, that total lack of pretence, that hatred of snobbery, and that belief in the powers of one´s own star and in the importance of one´s personal abilities which has driven and in the importance of one´s personal abilities which had driven forward to a series of new frontiers the men and women who had build the United States.
In his memories of his chilhood, My Early Life, Churchill wrote in 1930: 'I was a child of the Victorian era, when the structure of our country seemed firmly set, when its position in trade and on the seas was unrivalled, and when the realization of the greatnes or our Empire and of our duty to preserve it was ever growing stonger.'
Churchil spend most of his early childhood under the care of his nurse, and of a governess. As a result, he saw little of his mother. Later, he wrote of her: "She shone for me like the Evening Star. I loved her dearly -but at a distance.'