Roy Jenkins was the author of many books, including Churchill and Gladstone, which won the Whitbread Prize for Biography. Active in British politics for half a century, he entered the House of Commons in 1948 and subsequently served as Minister of Aviation, Home Secretary, and Chancellor of the Exchequer; he was also the President of the European Commission and Chancellor of Oxford University. In 1987 he took his seat in the House of Lords. He died in January 2003. In addition to his extraordinary political career he was a highly acclaimed historian and biographer. Among his many works, Gladstone and Churchill are regarded as his masterpieces.