Winston Churchill Net Worth at Death – How Did He Get Rich?

Winston Churchill Net Worth

Winston Churchill had an estimated net worth of $7 million at the time of his death. Winston Churchill was a British military leader and statesman. Twice named prime minister of Great Britain, he helped to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II. He earned the majority of his income from his political career, his books, and his memoirs. 

He began and ended his parliamentary career as a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 he was a prominent member of the Liberal Party for twenty years.

As the son of wealthy aristocratic parents and a member of Britain’s highest circles, you would expect Churchill to have a net worth closer to that of the royal family than that of the average working citizen. However, his net worth may surprise you.

After years of getting deeper and deeper into debt, Churchill finally came into his own in 1921. A relative who died when he was 46 left him $5 million. At that time, he had debts of about $3 million and could have been debt-free. However, he spent almost all of the money on a Rolls Royce, a country house, and gambling in France.

Churchill escaped debt not through his late relative’s money, but through his career. In his role as prime minister, he lived in inexpensive government residences. By writing history books and memoirs, he was able to use his celebrity to earn enough money to pay off his post-World War debts II.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Winston Churchill
Net Worth: $7 Million
Monthly Salary: $50,000
Annual Income: $1 Million
Source of Wealth: Politician, Writer, Painter

Early Years

Churchill was born on November 30, 1874, in Oxfordshire, England, at Blenheim Palace.

Young Churchill exhibited characteristics of both his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, a British statesman from an established English family, and his mother, Jeanette “Jennie” Jerome, an independent-minded New York socialite, from an early age.

Churchill grew up in Dublin, Ireland, where his father worked for his grandfather, John Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough.

Churchill proved to be an independent and rebellious student; after failing to perform well at his first two schools, Churchill began attending Harrow School, a boarding school near London, in April 1888. He joined the Harrow Rifle Corps within weeks of enrolling, putting him on the path to a military career.

At first, Churchill did not appear to be a good fit for the military; it took him three attempts to pass the exam for the British Royal Military College. However, once there, he performed admirably, graduating 20th in a class of 130.

He had a distant relationship with both his mother and father up until this point, despite the fact that he adored them both. Churchill wrote emotional letters to his mother while at school, begging her to come see him, but she never did.

His father died when he was 21, and Churchill was said to have known him more by reputation than any close relationship they had.

Military Career

Churchill served in the British Army for a brief but eventful career at the height of British military power. In 1895, he joined the Fourth Queen’s Own Hussars and served in the Indian northwest frontier and Sudan, where he fought in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898.

He wrote military reports for the Pioneer Mail and the Daily Telegraph while in the Army, as well as two books about his experiences, The Story of the Malakand Field Force (1898) and The River War (1900). (1899).

Churchill resigned from the army in 1899 to work as a war correspondent for the Morning Post, a conservative daily newspaper. He was taken prisoner by the Boers during a scouting expedition while reporting on the Boer War in South Africa.

When he escaped, he made headlines by traveling nearly 300 miles to Portuguese territory in Mozambique. When he returned to the UK, he wrote about his adventures in the book London to Ladysmith via Pretoria (1900).

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Parliament and Cabinet

Churchill was elected to the British Parliament as a Conservative Party member for Oldham, a town in Manchester, in 1900. Following in his father’s footsteps into politics, he adopted his father’s sense of independence and became a supporter of social reform.

Churchill switched to the Liberal Party in 1904 after becoming dissatisfied with the Conservative Party’s commitment to social justice. In 1908, he was elected to Parliament and appointed to the prime minister’s cabinet as president of the Board of Trade.

Churchill, as president of the Board of Trade, joined newly appointed Chancellor David Lloyd George in opposing British Navy expansion. He instituted several prison reforms, established the first minimum wage, and assisted in the establishment of labor exchanges and unemployment insurance.

Churchill also helped to pass the People’s Budget, which raised taxes on the wealthy to fund new social welfare programs. The budget was passed in the House of Commons in 1909, but was defeated in the House of Lords before becoming law in 1910.

Churchill displayed his tougher side in January 1911, when he paid a controversial visit to a police siege in London, where two alleged robbers were holed up in a building.

Churchill’s level of participation is still debated: According to some accounts, he went to the scene solely to see what was going on; others claim that he gave police instructions on how to best storm the building.

What is known is that the house caught fire during the siege, and Churchill refused to allow the fire department to extinguish the flames, stating that it was better to “let the house burn down” than risk lives rescuing the occupants. The two robbers’ bodies were later discovered inside the charred ruins.

Wife and Children

Winston Churchill married Clementine Ogilvy Hozier in 1908 after a brief courtship.

Diana, Randolph, Sarah, Marigold (who died as a toddler from tonsillitis), and Mary were the couple’s five children.

First Lord of the Admiralty

Churchill, who was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911, contributed to the modernization of the British Navy by ordering that new warships be built with oil-fired rather than coal-fired engines.

He was one of the first to advocate military aircraft and founded the Royal Navy Air Service. He was so enthusiastic about aviation that he took flying lessons himself to see its military potential firsthand.

Churchill also authored a controversial bill to amend the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, which mandated the sterilization of the mentally disabled. The bill, which provided only for institutionalization, was eventually passed by both houses of Parliament.

World War I

Churchill remained in the post of First Lord of the Admiralty until the start of World War I, but was dismissed for his involvement in the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli. He resigned from the government toward the end of 1915.

For a short time, Churchill rejoined the British Army, commanding a battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front and deployed in “no man’s land.”

In 1917, he was appointed armaments minister for the last year of the war, overseeing the production of tanks, aircraft and munitions.

After World War I

From 1919 to 1922, Churchill served as Minister of War, Air and Colonial Affairs under Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

As colonial minister, Churchill was involved in another controversy when he ordered the use of air power against insurgent Kurdish tribes in Iraq, a British territory. At one point, he suggested using poison gas to quell the rebellion, a proposal that was considered but never implemented.

Due to dissension in the Liberal Party, Churchill was voted out of office as an MP in 1922 and rejoined the Conservative Party. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, he returned Britain to the gold standard and cracked down on a general strike by workers that threatened to cripple the British economy.

With the defeat of the Conservative government in 1929, Churchill was out of government. He was perceived as a right-wing extremist who was out of touch with the people.

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In the 1920s, after leaving government, Churchill resumed painting. “Painting was my salvation at an extremely difficult time,” he later wrote.

Churchill created over 500 paintings, usually working en plein air, but also painting still lifes and portraits. He claimed that painting helped him improve his powers of observation and memory.

‘Wilderness Years’

In the 1930s, the so-called “wild years,” Churchill concentrated on his writing and published his memoirs and a biography of the First Duke of Marlborough.

During this period, he also began work on his famous A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, although it wouldn’t be published until two decades later.

When activists in 1930s India called for independence from British rule, Churchill joined the opponents of independence. He particularly despised Mahatma Gandhi: “It’s disturbing and also disgusting to see Mr. Gandhi, a rebellious Middle Temple lawyer … strides half-naked up the steps of the Viceroy’s Palace to negotiate with the King’s representative at eye level.”

World War II

Although Churchill did not initially recognize the threat posed by Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s, he gradually became a leading proponent of British rearmament.

When Germany began to control its neighbors in 1938, Churchill became a staunch critic of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement toward the Nazis.

On September 3, 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany, Churchill was reappointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet; in April 1940, he became chairman of the Military Coordinating Committee.

In April 1940, he became chairman of the Military Coordination Committee. That same month, Germany invaded and occupied Norway.

Prime Minister

On May 10, 1940, Chamberlain resigned and King George VI appointed Churchill as prime minister and defense minister.

Within hours, the German army began its western offensive, invading the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Two days later, German troops invaded France. As the clouds of war darkened over Europe, Britain faced the onslaught alone.

Churchill would be Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1940 to 1945, leading the country through World War II until Germany surrendered.

Battle of Britain

Churchill quickly formed a coalition cabinet of leaders from the Labor, Liberal, and Conservative parties. He placed intelligent and talented men in key positions.

On June 18, 1940, Churchill delivered one of his legendary speeches to the House of Commons, warning that the “Battle of Britain” was about to begin. Churchill kept alive the resistance to Nazi rule and laid the groundwork for an alliance with the United States and the Soviet Union.

Churchill had already established a relationship with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and in March 1941 he succeeded in securing vital U.S. aid through the Lend Lease Act, which allowed Britain to order war supplies on credit from the United States.

After the United States entered the World War II in December 1941, Churchill was confident that the Allies would eventually win the war. In the months that followed, Churchill worked closely with Roosevelt and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to forge an Allied war strategy and a postwar world.

Meeting in Tehran (1943), at the Yalta Conference (1945), and at the Potsdam Conference (1945), Churchill worked with the two leaders to develop a joint strategy against the Axis powers and helped shape the postwar world with the United Nations at its core.

As the war ended, Churchill proposed plans for social reform in Britain but failed to convince the public. Despite Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945, Churchill was defeated in the July 1945 general election.

‘Iron Curtain’ Speech

In the six years following Churchill’s defeat, he became the leader of the opposition party and continued to have influence on world affairs.

In March 1946, during a visit to the United States, he delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech, warning against Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. He also argued that Britain should remain independent of European coalitions.

Churchill returned to government in the 1951 general election. He became prime minister for the second time in October 1951 and served as defense minister between October 1951 and March 1952.

Churchill introduced reforms such as the Mines and Quarries Act of 1954, which improved working conditions in mines, and the Housing Repairs and Rent Act of 1955, which set standards for housing.

These domestic reforms were overshadowed by a series of foreign policy crises in the colonies of Kenya and Malaya, where Churchill ordered direct military action. Although the rebellions were successfully put down, it became clear that Britain was no longer able to maintain its colonial rule.

Nobel Prize

In 1953, Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

That same year he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for “his mastery of historical and biographical description and his brilliant oratory in defending sublime human values,” according to the Nobel Committee.


Churchill died at his London home on January 24, 1965, at the age of 90, nine days after suffering a severe stroke. Britain mourned for more than a week.

Churchill had shown signs of failing health as early as 1941, when he suffered a heart attack during a visit to the White House. Two years later, he suffered a similar attack while battling pneumonia.

In June 1953, at the age of 78, he suffered a series of strokes in his office. This news was withheld from the public and Parliament because the official announcement said he had suffered from exhaustion.

Churchill recovered at home and resumed his work as prime minister in October. But even the great statesman noticed that he was weakening physically and mentally, so he resigned as prime minister in 1955. Churchill remained a member of Parliament until the 1964 general election, where he did not stand for re-election.

There was speculation that Churchill suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in his final years, although medical experts pointed to his earlier strokes as the likely cause of his diminished mental capacity.

Despite his poor health, Churchill was able to continue to participate actively in public life, although mostly only from his homes in Kent and Hyde Park Gate in London.


Like other influential heads of state, Churchill left a complicated legacy.

He was honored by his countrymen for defeating the sinister regime of Hitler and the Nazi Party, and in 2002 topped a BBC poll listing the greatest Britons of all time, ahead of other luminaries such as Charles Darwin and William Shakespeare.

For critics, his unwavering commitment to British imperialism and fierce opposition to Indian independence underscored his disdain for other races and cultures.

Churchill Movies and Books

Churchill has been the subject of numerous portrayals in cinema and on screen over the years, with actors from Richard Burton to Christian Slater attempting to capture his essence. John Lithgow delivered an acclaimed performance as Churchill in the Netflix series “The Crown,” winning an Emmy for his work in 2017.

This year also saw the release of two biopics: in June, Brian Cox starred as Churchill, about the events leading up to the Normandy invasion in World War II II. Gary Oldman stunningly transformed himself into the iconic statesman in Darkest Hour.

Churchill is such a towering figure of the 20th century that his two major biographies required multiple authors and decades of research between volumes. William Manchester published Volume 1 of The Last Lion in 1983 and Volume 2 in 1986, but died while working on Part 3, which was finally completed by Paul Reid in 2012.

The official biography of Winston S. Churchill was begun in the early 1960s by Randolph, the former prime minister’s son; it passed to Martin Gilbert in 1968 and to an American institution, Hillsdale College, some three decades later. In 2015, Hillsdale published volume 18 of the series.

Winston Churchill Quotes

If you’re going through hell, keep going.


History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.


A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.


When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.


Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.


Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, it’s also what it takes to sit down and listen.


I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.


Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.


Never, never, never give up.

View our larger collection of the best Winston Churchill quotes.

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How To Become Rich Like Winston Churchill?

Winston Churchill did not become rich by luck. To become as rich as Winston Churchill, you have to work smart.

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If you seize this golden opportunity in time, you can become as successful as Winston Churchill one day.

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