5 Things You Didn't Know About Winston Churchill

On January 24, 1965, British statesman Winston Churchill died in his London home at Hyde Park Gate at the age of 90. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through World War II.

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The Man Seemed To Have Nine Lives The fact that Winston Churchill lived to the ripe old age of 90 is impressive, especially given his lifestyle and the medical situations he found himself in over his lifetime. Ultimately, it was a stroke that claimed his life (his last of many). But Churchill had suffered a host of other medical issues and life-threatening events, including a concussion and ruptured kidney after falling off a bridge, a near-drowning, a dislocated shoulder while disembarking a ship, a handful of falls off horses, being hit by a car, and even being in a plane crash. 

He Was The First Recipient Of The Term "OMG" Teenagers were not the first to use the phrase “OMG” as an abbreviation for “Oh my God.” Amazingly enough, it was first used in a letter that was written to Winston Churchill on September 9, 1917, by a retired admiral of the British Navy named John Arbuthnot Fisher. He was complaining about Britain’s naval strategy in World War I against Germany, and he was actually using it in a kind of a sarcastic way. Lord Fisher’s letter went unnoticed for nearly a century until it was unearthed by lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary, when they added an entry for “OMG” in March 2011. 

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He Had a Cigar Named After Him Winston Churchill began smoking at a very early age, and his mother despised his habit. In fact, she was so eager for him to stop that she promised to buy him a pony and a gun if he quit for six months. He was only 15 years old at the time of this request. He obliged, but once the six-month time frame elapsed, he started smoking again. He became so well known for smoking cigars, he actually had one named after him. The Cuban “Churchill” cigar is about seven inches long and 19 millimeters wide.

He Claimed That He Saw Abraham Lincoln's Ghost Churchill claimed that he saw the spirit of Abraham Lincoln during an overnight stay in the White House.  It happened one late night after he climbed out of the bath tub naked, and walked into the adjoining bedroom. He was startled to see Lincoln standing by the fireplace in the room, leaning on the mantle. Churchill, always quick on the uptake, and said "Good evening, Mr. President. You seem to have me at a disadvantage." Lincoln smiled softly, as if laughing and disappeared. Churchill smiled in embarrassment. Churchill is in good company, though, as others—including Theodore Roosevelt and the daughter of Ronald Reagan—have also claimed to have seen Lincoln's ghost.

He Made It Onto The Music Charts Churchill may be best known for leading Britain through WWII, but he also managed to make it onto the music charts, twice. His first time on the charts was for a compilation of his speeches in 1965, and the second time was part of a 70th anniversary compilation for the Battle of Britain. Unfortunately, Churchill was not around to enjoy these accolades, as both took place after his death.