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John McEwen

John McEwen

About John McEwen

Sir John "Black Jack" McEwen, the third 'care-taker' Prime Minister in the history of Australia was sworn in as the Prime Minister on 19 December 1967. John McEwen, leader of the Country Party and the Deputy Prime Minister took over the role of Prime Minister after the death of Harold Holt. Within a short period of 23 days, he was replaced by John Gorton, Liberal Party's new leader. John McEwen was the 18th Prime Minister of Australia and the last Prime Minister to represent Country party.

Early Life, Education and Political Career

McEwen was born on 29 March 1900 in Chiltern, Victoria as the son of a pharmacist David James McEwen and his second wife Amy Ellen. After the death of his parents he and his younger sister were brought up by his maternal grandmother. He left school at the age of 13 to join a pharmaceutical firm as a switchboard operator. However he continued his studies in night school. He cleared the Commonwealth Public Service examination and joined the Commonwealth Crown Solicitor's office at the age of 15. He was selected to the Australian Imperial Force on 9 August 1918. But before he could join the army, the world war came to an end. He started a dairy farm in the soldier settler block of 35 hectares granted to him at Stanhope, Victoria. He lost the election for the Victorian state parliament in 1932. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1934. The variety of roles McEwen took over includes Minister for the Interior, Minister for External Affairs, Minister for Air and Minister for Civil Aviation. For twenty years he handled the ministerial responsibilities of Commerce and Trade from 1949 to 1971. During his time the portfolio emphasis shifted to the broader industry area. He also emphasized on protection of manufacturing industries.

Personal Life 

In 1921 McEwen married Ann McLeod, who died in 1967. Later in 1968 he married Mary Byrne, his personal secretary. He had no children in both the marriages. McEwen died on 20th November 1980 at Toorak, Melbourne.


Companion of Honour (1969) Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (1971) Grand Cordon, Order of the Rising Sun (1973)

18th Prime Minister of Australia
In office 17 December 1967– 10 January 1968
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Lord Casey
Preceded by Harold Holt
Succeeded by John Gorton
1st Deputy Prime Minister of Australia
In office 10 January 1968– 5 February 1971
Prime Minister John Gorton
Preceded by New Office
Succeeded by Doug Anthony
Member of the Australian Parliament for Indi
In office 23 October 1937– 10 December 1949
Preceded by William Hutchinson
Succeeded by William Bostock
Member of the Australian Parliament for Murray
In office 10 December 1949– 20 March 1971
Preceded by seat created
Succeeded by Bruce Lloyd
Personal details
Born 29 March 1900 Chiltern, Colony of Victoria, British Empire
Died 20 November 1980 (aged 80) Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Political party Country
Spouse(s) Anne Mills McLeod (1921-1967; her death) Mary Eileen Byrne (1968–1980; his death)
Children None
Religion Presbyterianism

Types Of Visas

Immigration Info

Australian History

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