Winston Churchill (1874-1965) served as the prime minister of Great Britain from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. He led Britain's fight against Nazi Germany in World War II. Churchill was a talented orator, giving many stirring speeches to boost national morale during the war. A close friend of American presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Churchill hoped to join the Americans in building a postwar order that limited Soviet leader Josef Stalin's ability to dominate European affairs.
British voters turned Churchill out of office in 1945, but he carried on in his efforts to build a strong anti-Soviet consensus in the West. In a famous 1946 speech delivered in Missouri, Churchill warned that the Soviet Union had built an "Iron Curtain" to divide Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe from the West. He thus coined one of the most defining terms of the Cold War era.