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Jo Grimond - Politician

Jo Grimond was born in St Andrews in 1913, the son of a wealthy Dundee jute manufacturer.

Grimond was educated at Eton and Oxford. He became both enthusiastic and curious about politics while at Eton and studied Modern Greats at Balliol College, Oxford.

He made his first political speech in the General Election of 1935 and was called to the Bar in 1937. Grimond joined the 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, serving in Northern Ireland and Europe and rising to the rank of major.

After army service he was elected as MP for Orkney and Shetland in 1950. Between 1956 and 1967, he was the leader of the Liberal Party. He was highly respected in this office, during which time he did much to modernise the party, re-aligning it to a radical, left-of-centre grouping.

Grimond was also an energetic pro-European. He served as Rector of the University of Edinburgh between 1960 and 1964. Retiring as a politician in 1983, he was appointed a life peer in the same year. He died in Kirkwall, Orkney, in 1993, aged 80.

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