Raise a glass ~ Winston Churchill was born 139 years ago today

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Remember him, for he saved all of you: pudgy and not very large but somehow massive and indomitable; baby-faced, with snub nose, square chin, rheumy eyes on occasion given to tears; a thwarted actor’s taste for clothes that would have looked ridiculous on a less splendid man. He wore the quaintest hats of anyone: tinted square bowlers; great flat sombreros squashed down on his head; naval officer’s caps rendered just slightly comic by the huge cigar protruding beneath the peak. On grave and critical occasions he sported highly practical Teddy-bear suits few grown men would dare to wear in public. He fancied oil painting, at which he was good, writing, at which he was excellent, and oratory, at which he was magnificent. His habits were somewhat owlish (a bird he faintly resembled), and he stayed up late at night, often working mornings in bed with a lap tray for his desk. (Once, after the war, when I called on him at 11:00 A.M., he inquired whether I wished a drink, ordered me a whiskey and soda, then, reaching for the empty glass beside him, told his manservant: “And bring me another.”

– From World War II by (the late NY Times Foreign Affairs columnist) C.L. Sulzberger

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