- Category : 1911-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Dominion 2
Australian politician, Prime Minister of Australia 1/10/1968 to 1971. John Grey Gorton was the only Senator ever to become Prime Minister. Traditionally, Prime Ministers come from the lower house - the House of Representatives. So, shortly after becoming PM, he stood for - and won - a seat in the House of Reps. Gorton believed in strong Commonwealth power over economic management and this made him unpopular with the state Liberal Premiers.
Gorton was the second child of an immigrant who had come from England via South Africa, where he had acquired wealth as a business entrepreneur. His mother died when he was seven. He was educated at the Headford Preparatory School of Sydney Church of England Grammar ('Shore') School, then Geelong Grammar School. He finished his education at Oxford University in the UK.
After graduating from Oxford he returned to Australia to manage his father's orchard at Kerang, Victoria. He enlisted in the RAAF on 11/08/1940, and trained as a fighter pilot. He served in the UK, Singapore, Darwin and Milne Bay (Papua). He was severely wounded in a plane crash and was given reconstructive surgery. He was discharged from the RAAF on 12/05/1944 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
He married Bettina Brown in 1935 and they had three children. After 48 years of marriage, he was widowed in 1983. He married Nancy Home in 1993.
John Gorton was elected to the Senate in 1949 as a Senator for the State of Victoria. He entered the Menzies Ministry in 1958, serving in Ministerial positions. After the drowning of Harold Holt on 12/19/1967, Gorton became leader of the Liberal Party, and was sworn in as Prime
Minister in January 1968. He was Prime Minister for three years until he was removed from office by his own party after a vote of no confidence in his leadership. On 3/10/1971, Gorton was replaced as Party Leader by William McMahon. He resigned from the Liberal Party on 5/23/1975, sitting as an Independent in the House of Representatives until the end of the Parliamentary term. He contested the 1975 elections as an independent Senator for the ACT, but failed to obtain a seat. John Gorton was appointed a Member of Her Majesty's Privy Council and in 1971 a Companion of Honour. He was knighted in 1977, and appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1988. He died May 19, 2002 in Sydney Australia of pneumonia, age 90.