Boris Johnson was born in June 1964 in New York. His family moved to London when he was five years old.
Few Londoners have entirely English descent, and Johnson is no exception. He describes himself as a “one man melting pot,” with French, Turks, and Germans among his ancestors.
Johnson went to primary school in Camden and was subsequently educated at the European School in Brussels, Ashdown House, and then at Eton College. He later read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford, as a Brackenbury Scholar and served as president of the prestigious Oxford Union.
He began his journalistic career as a trainee reporter for The Times. He joined The Daily Telegraph in 1987 as leader and feature writer. From 1989 to 1994 he was the Telegraph’s European Community correspondent, and from 1994 to 1999 he served as assistant editor. He began as political columnist for The Spectator in 1994 and served as editor from 1999 until December 2005.
Besides his work as a journalist, he has published several books, including Lend Me Your Ears, Friends, Voters, Countrymen, an autobiographical account of his experience of the 2001 election campaign, and a novel, Seventy-Two Virgins. He produced a television series based on The Dream of Rome, his book on Roman history.
In 2001 he was elected MP for Henley-on-Thames, replacing Michael Heseltine. He has held shadow government posts as vice chairman, shadow minister for the arts, and shadow minister of higher education. In July 2007 Boris Johnson resigned from his position as shadow education secretary so that he would be free to stand as Conservative candidate for mayor of London. He resigned as MP for Henley shortly after becoming mayor of London.
As well as being a passionate cyclist, he enjoys painting and playing tennis, and spends much of his time bringing up his four children with his wife Marina in North London.
Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2009