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John Curtin

John Joseph Ambrose Curtin (January 8, 1885 - July 5, 1945) was the fourteenth Prime Minister of Australia. Curtin led Australia through its darkest period of history and the only time the Australian mainland came under direct military threat - the Japanese advance in World War II.

A professed atheist and lifelong militant trade-unionist, John Curtin is generally regarded as perhaps the greatest Australian Prime Minister ever.

First elected to the House of Representatives in 1928, only to be out again in 1931 in the landslide against the Scullin government. In 1934, he returned (by only a handful of votes), and was made leader of the Parliamentary Labor Party within one year. Despite losing the next two elections (1937 and 1940), he was brought to power in 1941 following the collapse of the Menzies and then Fadden governments. Successfully rallying Australians to participate in the war effort, he was re-elected in one of the largest landslides ever in the 1943 election.

However, within two years he was dead, dying only a few short months before the end of the war, with accolades pouring in from sources as diverse as his old political enemy, Arthur Fadden, who described him as "the best and fairest" political opponent he ever had, to General Douglas Macarthur[?], who said that Curtin was, "One of the greatest of the wartime statesmen" and that "the preservation of Australia from invasion will be his immemorial monument"

Previous Australian Prime Minister: Arthur Fadden
Next Australian Prime Minister: Francis Forde

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