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Fast facts: John Gorton

Personal profile

John Grey GORTON

Born:

9 September 1911, Wellington, New Zealand

Education:

Geelong Grammar (1927–30); Brasenose College, Oxford (1932–35)

Employment:

orchardist

Memberships:

Royal Australian Air Force (1940–44 ); Melbourne Club; Freemasons

Marriage:

15 February 1935, St Giles Church, Oxford, England, (and on 24 July 1993 to Nancy Home in Sydney)

Children:

Joanna (1937); Michael (1938); Robin (1941)

Died:

19 May 2002, Darlinghurst, Sydney

Honours:

Privy Councillor (1968); Companion of Honour June (1971); GCMG (1977)

Bettina Edith GORTON (née BROWN)

Born:

c1916 Maine, United States

Died:

2 October 1983

Political profile

Terms as PM:

10 January 1968 – 10 March 1971

Terms as MP:

Senate: 22 February 1950 – 1 February 1968
House of Representatives: 1 March 1968 – 13 December 1975 (Higgins)

Portfolios:

Minister for the Navy: 10 December 1958 – 18 December 1963
Minister Assisting the Minister for External Affairs: 23 March 1960 – 18 December 1963
Minister-in-charge of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation: 16 February 1962 – 18 December 1963
Minister for the Interior: 18 December 1963 – 4 March 1964
Minister for Works: 18 December 1963 – 28 February 1967
Minister-in-charge of Commonwealth Activities in Education and Research under the Prime Minister: 18 December 1963 – 14 December 1966
Minister for Education and Science: 14 December 1966 – 28 February 1968
Minister for Defence: 10 March – 13 August 1971

Political memberships:

Country Party; Liberal Country Party; Liberal Party of Australia (1949 – 24 May 1975)

Quiz facts

  • Gorton was at school with filmstar Errol Flynn at Shore (1924–26) and painter Russell Drysdale at Geelong Grammar (1927–30)
  • at Geelong Grammar the lanky and casual Gorton was nicknamed ‘Droop’
  • Gorton is the only PM sworn in while still a Senator
  • for three weeks in February 1968, Gorton was PM but had no seat in parliament
  • American Bettina Gorton was the only prime ministerial wife who was a citizen of another country

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