Winston Churchill's biographer, Martin Gilbert, dies


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LONDON (AP) — Martin Gilbert, Winston Churchill's official biographer and a leading historian of the Holocaust, has died following a lengthy illness. He was 78.

Gilbert died Tuesday night, senior civil servant John Chilcot told a British parliamentary committee on Wednesday. Gilbert was a member of Chilcot's panel conducting an official investigation into Britain's role in the Iraq war.

Educated at Oxford University, Gilbert wrote more than 80 books, including many with themes related to World War II. He is best known for his works on Churchill, which began when he worked with the prime minister's son, Randolph Churchill, on an official biography.

He continued for 20 years after Randolph Churchill died in 1968, completing an eight-volume biography and writing several other books about the statesman, including "Churchill: A Life; "Churchill: The Power of Words," and "Continue to Pester, Nag, and Bite: Churchill's War Leadership."

He also wrote eight books on the Holocaust, including "The Holocaust: A Jewish Tragedy" and "Auschwitz and the Allies," as well as "Israel: A History," and the three-volume "History of the 20th Century."

He once said his aim had been "to write history from the human perspective, never to neglect the person known as 'the common man.'"

Gilbert was knighted in 1995 for services to British history and international relations.

He is survived by his wife, Esther, and three children from two previous marriages.

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