Remarkable People

ID #5222

Jan Smuts 1 Soldier, Statesman and Philosopher, South Africa.

Jan Christiaan Smuts (1870–1950) was a prominent statesman, military leader and philosopher. In addition to holding various cabinet posts, he served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. He served in the First World War and as a British field marshal in the Second World War.

Smuts's inauguration as chancellor of the University of Cambridge shortly after the election in 1948 restored his morale, but the unexpected death of his eldest son, Japie, in October 1948 brought him to the depths of despair. In the last two years of his life, frail and aged, Smuts continued to comment perceptively on world affairs. While his contributions as a world statesman were acknowledged in innumerable honours and medals, his reputation was more mixed at home. Nevertheless, despite ill-health he continued his public commitments.

In May 1950, a week after the public celebration of his eightieth birthday, he suffered a coronary thrombosis. He died of a subsequent heart attack on his family farm Doornkloof in Irene, near Pretoria, in September 1950, and was buried in Pretoria. RSAJCS1

attached files: Jan Smuts -- Second Anglo-Boer War.doc, Jan Smuts -- Return to South Africa.doc, Jan Smuts -- Union of South Africa.doc, Jan Smuts -- Second World War.doc, Jan Smuts -- Early Years.doc, Jan Smuts -- First World War.doc

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Last update: 2014-05-12 16:29
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.6

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