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His family offered him little support -- he longed for his parents' approval but never received it...
Winston Churchill, the 20-year-old son of a distinguished English family, opened the letter he’d just received from a father he barely knew. In it, Lord Randolph Churchill, the 7th Duke of Marlborough, expressed grave disappointment in his eldest child, who was up to that point a complete “wash-out.” A failure at school in most subjects, Churchill was likewise an inept sportsman, detesting cricket and football with as much energy as he hated math and classical languages. His family offered him little support — he longed for his parents’ approval but never received it — and they shook their heads when young Winston flunked his army officer’s examination twice before passing with the lowest possible marks. His father was dying, and both he and Winston were sure the young man’s life would come to nothing.
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