Blair, Cherie (1954–)

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Blair, Cherie (1954–)

English lawyer and judge. Name variations: Cherie Booth. Born Cherie Booth, Sept 23, 1954, in Bury, Lancashire, England; dau. of Tony Booth (actor and Labour activist) and actress Gale Smith; m. Tony Blair (prime minister of England), 1980; children: Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn and Leo.

Achieved considerable success as lawyer and judge, but came to prominence as wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair; was brought up in a working-class, Roman Catholic family in Bury, Lancashire, which became single-parent household when father left (1956); earned law degree at London School of Economics with highest mark of the year in bar exams; met husband while both were training to be barristers (1976); as an active supporter of Labour Party, is thought to have inspired husband's increased involvement; unsuccessfully campaigned for no-hope seat of Thanet North, Kent, in general election (1983), the same year husband won a safe seat in Sedgefield, Co. Durham; worked in well-paid job as barrister (1980s), helping family through lean years while husband was a backbencher MP; struggled to find acceptable image when husband became leader of Labor Party (1994); opinionated, was frequently compared to former US first lady, Hillary Clinton; continued to practice employment and discrimination law; lectured widely on human rights and advised on implications of Human Rights Act; appeared in European Court of Justice and in Commonwealth jurisdictions, and sat as an international arbitrator; accredited as mediator under ADR Chambers/Harvard Law Project scheme.