Sir Robert Gordon Menzies (20 December 1894 – 15 May 1978), was an Australian politician and the 12th Prime Minister of Australia. He served over 18 collective years, first from 1939 to 1941 and from 1949 to 1966, and is Australia's longest-serving prime minister.
Robert Gordon Menzies was born to James Menzies and Kate (née Sampson) in Jeparit, a town in the Wimmera region of northwestern Victoria, on 20 December 1894. His father James was a storekeeper and held agencies for farm machinery and stock agents, the son of Scottish crofters who had immigrated to Australia in the mid-1850s in the wake of the Victorian gold rush. His maternal grandfather, John Sampson, was a Cornish miner from Penzance who also came to seek his fortune on the goldfields, in Ballarat. Menzies was proud of his mother's origins. Cornish author A. L. Rowse wrote, 'When Menzies visited us he told me that he was a Cornish Sampson on his mother's side.' His father was elected to the Victorian State Parliament for the seat of Lowan in 1911 and moved with the family to Melbourne after selling the farm. One of his uncles, Hugh Menzies, had been member of the Victorian Parliament for Stawell for two years up to 1904, while another uncle, Sydney Sampson, had represented the Division of Wimmera in the House of Representatives. He was proud of his Highland ancestry – his enduring nickname, Ming, came from /ˈmɪŋəs/, the Scots – and his own preferred – pronunciation of Menzies. His middle name, Gordon, was given to him in honour and memory of Charles George Gordon, a British general killed in Khartoum in 1885...
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