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Gordon Brown
Born in Scotland in 1951, Gordon Brown is the second of three sons. He grew up in the town of Kirkcaldy, an industrial centre famed for its linoleum and mining industries, during a time of rising unemployment and desperate poverty.

Gordon Brown’s parents, John and Elizabeth, were influential figures in his life. His father was a Minister of the Church and played a central part in town life. Mr Brown remembers his father more for his interest in helping people than for his theological zeal. He often helped those in desperate circumstances who saw the minister’s house as their only refuge for help.

Mr Brown recalls his father quoting the words of Martin Luther King: “everyone can be great because everyone can serve”. He has described his parents as “my inspiration, and the reason I am in politics”.

Like many other boys in Scotland, football was Mr Brown’s passion. A keen Raith Rovers supporter from childhood, he earned pocket money by selling programmes for the team. He also produced a newspaper with his brothers, which they sold for charity.

Mr Brown married his wife Sarah at their home in North Queensferry on 3 August 2000. They have two sons, John and Fraser.

Mrs Brown is the president of the children’s charity PiggyBankKids, which supports the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory, a project set up in memory of their daughter.
Education and early career

Mr Brown did well at school from an early age. At the age of ten, he joined Kirkcaldy High School, where he excelled at sport and joined in every aspect of school life, quickly becoming popular, and taking an early interest in local political campaigns.

He took his exams a year ahead of his contemporaries - his ‘O’ Levels at 14, his Highers at 15. When he came top of a bursary competition, he went on to university at age 15 - one of the youngest students to go to Edinburgh University since the war.

Mr Brown enjoyed student politics and the debates in the student newspaper, which he edited in a prize-winning year. He also continued with his passion for sport.

Just before he went to university, Mr Brown injured his eye playing for his school team at rugby which eventually resulted in detached retinas in both eyes. He spent much of his early years at university in hospital or recuperating.

Having gained a First Class honours degree and a number of prizes for his studies, Mr Brown became the youngest ever Rector of Edinburgh University in 1972.

In his working life, Mr Brown spent time as a university and college lecturer and also wrote a number of books. His book on James Maxton is about the early Labour MPs and their struggles. ‘Values, Visions and Voices’ is a study of the idealism and zeal of Labour’s early thinkers. And ‘The Real Divide’, written with Robin Cook, is a study of poverty and inequality. More recently, a collection of his speeches has been published as ‘Moving Britain Forward’.

After unsuccessfully fighting Michael Ancram for the Conservative seat of Edinburgh South in 1979, Mr Brown became MP for Dunfermline East in 1983 with a majority of 11,000.
Into Parliament

In 1983, as MP for Dunfermline East and Chair of the Labour Party’s Scottish Council, Mr Brown shared his first office in the House of Commons with Tony Blair and the two became friends.

Mr Brown’s maiden speech was on the growing problem of unemployment, of which he said:

“The chance of a labourer getting a job in my constituency is 150 to 1 against. There is only one vacancy in my local career office for nearly 500 teenagers who have recently left school.”

Identified early on by Neil Kinnock as a rising talent, Mr Brown became Shadow Spokesman for Trade and Industry, working with John Smith, and the two formed a close working relationship. When John Smith became leader, he appointed Gordon Brown to be Shadow Chancellor.

After John Smith’s sudden death, Mr Brown continued to be Shadow Chancellor and backed Tony Blair for the leadership of the Labour Party. Working together they won a landslide majority in 1997.
Chancellor of the Exchequer

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown presided over the longest ever period of growth. He also made the Bank of England independent and delivered an agreement at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005 to support the world’s poorest countries and tackle climate change.

Mr Brown sums his own beliefs up as:

“Every child should have the best start in life, that everybody should have the chance of a job, that nobody should be brought up suffering in poverty. I would call them the beliefs that you associate with civilisation and dignity.”

Entries by Gordon Brown

We Cannot Let Humanitarian Crises Deny the World's Children an Education

(27) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 12:24 PM

ISTANBUL -- The Syrian refugee crisis has exposed the hypocrisy of a world that promises universal rights and then does little to guarantee them. Today, despite headline-grabbing pledging conferences, the majority of Syria's 6 million impacted and displaced children still go without a basic education -- and up...

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Un año después del terremoto, Nepal es un desastre por culpa del ser humano

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2016 | 1:00 AM

LONDRES - Mamita tenía 9 años cuando, hace un año, el peor terremoto del siglo arrasó Nepal. Junto a otros miles de niños, se vio obligada a vivir en la calle.

Incapaz de encontrar un sitio donde sentirse a salvo y de ir a la escuela en...

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A Year After the Earthquake, Nepal Is a Man-Made Disaster

(9) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 3:29 PM

LONDON -- Mamita was 9 years old when, exactly one year ago, the worst earthquake in nearly a century struck Nepal. Alongside hundreds of thousands of other children, she was forced onto the streets.

Unable to find safe shelter and schooling in her devastated village, she ventured with...

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#BringBackOurGirls: O mundo deveria se envergonhar por não ter trazido as meninas de Chibok para casa

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 9:25 AM

Ainda desesperadas, mas impotentes, depois de 730 dias. Ainda na dependência de um milagre. As estudantes desaparecidas de Chibok e suas famílias realmente merecem tratamento melhor.

Neste momento do segundo aniversário do sequestro e desaparecimento de 276 adolescentes de uma cidade do nordeste da Nigéria, ninguém entre nós...

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(2) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 5:29 AM


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A Campaign Led by Young People Can Help Make the Difference in Stopping Slavery

(6) Comments | Posted April 17, 2016 | 7:00 PM

The last year has seen such blatant violations of children's rights that instead of being shocked the international community has sadly begun to accept these abuses as normal.

We have seen how thousands of Nepalese girls, forced onto the streets after the Nepal earthquake, have been trafficked into...

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The World Should Be Ashamed of the Failure to #BringBackOurGirls

(89) Comments | Posted April 14, 2016 | 3:48 PM

Still desperate but powerless after 730 days. Still relying on a miracle. The missing schoolgirls of Chibok and their families really deserve better.

As we mark the second anniversary of the abduction and disappearance of 276 teenagers from a northeastern town in Nigeria, we have all done far...

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To Really Help Syria, We Should Start With a Bold New Humanitarian Vision Like This

(27) Comments | Posted February 9, 2016 | 4:56 PM

LONDON -- A special humanitarian conference -- the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul -- promises to be a defining moment for the 24 million out-of-school children in conflict zones worldwide, for two reasons.

First, the Syrian civil war has reminded us that crises are rarely resolved...

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Pour combattre la barbarie du terrible conflit syrien, il faut scolariser les petits réfugiés

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2016 | 9:54 AM

LONDRES - En ce début d'année, nous constatons une montée effarante de la malnutrition, des maladies et du nombre de sans-abri en Syrie. Le nombre de réfugiés avoisine 12 millions.

L'impact à long terme de cette guerre civile, qui entrera bientôt dans sa sixième année, sur l'avenir des quelque 6...

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To Fight the Inhumanity of Syria's Bitter Conflict, Let's Get Refugee Children in School

(4) Comments | Posted January 13, 2016 | 3:59 PM

LONDON -- This year has started off with a shocking escalation in malnutrition, disease and homelessness as Syria's displaced population moves towards the 12 million mark.

And with the civil war soon to enter its sixth year, there is growing alarm about the long-term impact...

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Why We Desperately Need to Help Syrian Refugee Children Get to School

(16) Comments | Posted September 10, 2015 | 2:26 PM

Her name is Shems. It is Arabic for "sunlight," and it can also can be interpreted as "hope."

Just as the body of Alan Kurdi was being washed up on a beach in Turkey, Shems came into the world, born far from sunlight,...

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Los jóvenes contraatacan en un mundo cada vez más peligroso

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 1:15 AM

El espíritu de la juventud, el optimismo y la actitud desafiante de los jóvenes de hoy en día están más vivos que nunca. Los jóvenes están preparados para llevar la lucha por sus derechos a otro nivel.

No había habido tantos niños y adolescentes desplazados, y de tantos países, desde...

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Why 30million Displaced Boys and Girls Urgently Need Our Help This World Humanitarian Day

(10) Comments | Posted August 19, 2015 | 6:03 AM

Today is about action, not just words - it is World Humanitarian Day. It is not a celebration. It is a much-needed recognition of those "who face danger and adversity in order to help others," a clear signal that there IS good in the world and a message...

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The World Is More Dangerous for Young People Today Than Ever. But They Are Fighting Back.

(8) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 3:40 PM

The spirit of youth and the optimism and sheer defiance of young people today is alive and well. They are set to take their fight for rights to a whole new level.

Not since the end of World War II -- exactly 70 years ago -- have so many children...

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Angry Birds Get Angrier

(6) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 4:32 AM

Today the Angry Birds are a little bit angrier. The characters that have become a worldwide gaming phenomenon are flapping even more furiously because 58million children are not in school and learning.

Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish creator of Angry Birds, has added a huge boost to the #UpForSchool campaign

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'The Year of the Child' Has Become 'the Year of Fear' for Children

(11) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 8:46 AM

LONDON -- Is it any wonder that we now call this "the year of fear" for millions of children across the world?

The cries of a starving or distressed child are a harrowing enough sound. The screams of a child caught up in violent conflict are an altogether different...

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Appeals Fall Short as Nepalese Children Suffer

(8) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 2:43 PM

The little red sticker posted to buildings paints a thousand words but only one of those words matter: Condemned.

Strewn across earthquake-hit Nepal, school buildings are being assessed for structural damage. And like so many things the world over, the colors red and green are used as indicators. A green...

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Ruthless $570-Per-Child Traffickers Exploit Nepal Tragedy

(27) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 11:40 AM

The fallout from the Nepal earthquake tragedy, which has killed 8,000 and injured nearly 20,000, worsens by the day.

In a sinister new development parents are being urged to protect children from roaming gangs of ruthless human traffickers, who, it is reported, can earn $570 for every...

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Chega! Os ataques à escolas têm de acabar

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 2:41 PM

Depois de Paquistão, Nigéria e Sudão do Sul, um quarto país se tornou a mais recente vítima de abomináveis ataques terroristas contra estudantes e estabelecimentos educacionais.

Atiradores invadiram a Garissa University College, no Quênia, copiando táticas usadas pelo Estado Islâmico e por grupos africanos e asiáticos ligados à...

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Enough! The Attacks on Schools Must End

(15) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 5:33 PM

After Pakistan, Nigeria and South Sudan, a fourth country has now become the most recent victim of heinous terrorist attacks on students and educational establishments.

Today, when gunmen burst into Garissa University College in Kenya, they copied a tactic used by Islamic State and Al-Qaeda-linked groups in...

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