Tony Blair was born in Edinburgh, but spent most of his childhood in Durham. At the age of 14 he returned to Edinburgh to finish his education at Fettes College. He studied law at Oxford, before going on to become a barrister.
After standing unsuccessfully for the Labour Party in a by-election in Beaconsfield in 1982, Mr Blair went on to win the seat of Sedgefield in the General Election the following year, aged 30.
Tony Blair made a speedy rise through the ranks until the Labour leader, John Smith, promoted him to Shadow Home Secretary following the 1992 election. John Smith died suddenly and unexpectedly in 1994 and, in the subsequent leadership contest, Tony Blair won a large majority of his party's support.
He immediately launched his campaign to modernise the Labour Party and re-claim the political centre, which he saw as essential for victory. Party members showed their support for his project when they voted to remove Labour's historic commitment to public ownership, helping Mr Blair to create what he coined "New Labour."
The Labour Party won the 1997 General Election by a landslide, after 18 years in Opposition. At the age of 43, Tony Blair became the youngest Prime Minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812 and moved into Number 10 with his family.