Sofoklis Venizelos

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Sofoklis Venizelos (standing right) with his father and Ms. Kathleen Zervudachi, 1921.

Sofoklis Venizelos (Greek: Σοφοκλής Βενιζέλος, also transliterated as Sophocles Venizelos) (3 November 1894 – 7 February 1964) was a Greek politician, who three times served as Prime Minister of Greece - in 1944 (in exile), 1950 and 1950–1951.

Life and career[edit]

Venizelos was born in Chania in Crete (then an autonomous state under Ottoman suzerainty and the protection of Russia, Britain, France and Italy). He was the second-born son of the politician Eleftherios Venizelos.

During World War I he served with distinction in the Greek Army and in the initial phases of the Asia Minor campaign, reaching the rank of Captain of Artillery.

He resigned from the Army and was elected as a MP with his father's Liberal Party in the 1920 elections.

In 1941, after Greece was occupied by Nazi German troops, he became ambassador to the United States, representing the Greek government in exile based in Cairo. He became a minister of that government in 1943 under Prime Minister Emmanuel Tsuderos, and briefly its Prime Minister in 1944 (April 13–26).

After the end of the war, he returned to Greece; where he became Vice President of the Liberal Party (led by Themistoklis Sofoulis) and a minister in the first post-war government led by Georgios Papandreou.

In 1948 he assumed the leadership of the party and became a minister in a number of short-lived liberal governments led by Papandreou and Nikolaos Plastiras; he was also the Prime Minister of two such governments.

In 1954 his longtime friendship with Georgios Papandreou was shaken, and he formed the rival Liberal Democratic Union coalition.

The rift was bridged in 1958, and in 1961 he became a founding member of Papandreou's Center Union party, which he served until his death in 1964.

He died on the passenger ship "Hellas" heading for Piraeus from Chania. His grave lies next to his father's on the island of Crete.[1]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Emmanouil Tsouderos
Prime Minister of Greece
April 13, 1944 - April 26, 1944 (in exile in Cairo)
Succeeded by
Georgios Papandreou
Preceded by
Ioannis Theotokis
Prime Minister of Greece
March 23, 1950 - April 15, 1950
Succeeded by
Nikolaos Plastiras
Preceded by
Nikolaos Plastiras
Prime Minister of Greece
August 21, 1950 - November 1, 1951
Succeeded by
Nikolaos Plastiras
Preceded by
Philippos Manouilides
Minister for National Defence of Greece
21 August - 9 September 1950
Succeeded by
Konstantinos Rendis
Preceded by
Alexandros Sakellariou
Minister for National Defence of Greece
10 April - 24 July 1952
Succeeded by
Georgios Mavros