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Frank Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford

Francis Aungier Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford (December 5, 1905 - August 3, 2001), better known to the British press simply as Lord Longford, or as the author Frank Pakenham, was a politician, author, and social reformer.

He was the second son of the 5th Earl of Longford, and was educated at Eton, and at the University of Oxford, where he met his future wife, Elizabeth Harman, and graduated with a First in Modern Greats.

At the age of 25, he joined the Conservative Party, but was soon convinced to become a socialist, partly by his future wife, whom he then married on November 3, 1931. He embarked on a political career, and was a junior minister in the Labour government of 1946 - 1951, and a Cabinet member from 1964 to 1968. He was created a Knight of the Garter in 1971. Over the years he gained a reputation as an eccentric, and became known for his efforts to rehabilitate offenders, campaigning for the release from prison of the "Moors murderer", Myra Hindley.

Under the House Of Lords Act (1999)[?] the majority of hereditary peers lost the priviledge of a seat and right to vote in the House of Lords. Lord Longford was one of a number of long-standing active memebers of the house who were made life peers allowing them retain their seats. He thus became Baron Pakenham of Cowley.

He and his wife, who died in October 2002 at the age of 96, had eight children, among them the writers Antonia Fraser, Rachel Billington[?], and Thomas Pakenham[?].

External links

  • "Campaigner Lord Longford dies (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1472645.stm)" - BBC News article dated Friday, August 3, 2001
  • "Lord Longford: Aristocratic moral crusader (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/430115.stm)" - BBC News obituary dated Friday, August 3, 2001
  • "Tributes to humanist peer (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1472769.stm)" - BBC News article dated Friday, August 3, 2001
  • Lord Longford (http://politics.guardian.co.uk/politicsobituaries/story/0,1441,563425,00) - Guardian obituary by Peter Stanford dated Monday, August 6, 2001

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