Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, the second of three children, was born on 6 May 1953 in Edinburgh, Scotland, to Leo Blair and Hazel Corscadden. Blair grew up in Durham City in Northern England, where his father was a lawyer and university lecturer.
Chairman of the local Conservative association, Leo Blair is widely believed to have instilled in his son the values of ambition, initiative, hard work, responsibility, and competitiveness. It is from this middle-class background that Tony Blair developed his political views.
Blair was educated at Durham Choristers and then attended the prestigious Fetters College in Edinburgh in the early 1970s. While proving to be a dedicated and serious student, Blair also exhibited a gregarious personal side. During his formative years, Blair performed as an actor and was a singer in a rock band. After college he spent a year in London, where he drove a van, moved musical equipment, and worked in a department store. Blair continued his education at St. John's College, Oxford, where he studied law.
Upon completing his education, Blair became a barrister in London and practiced law until 1983, specializing in employment and industrial law. In 1980 Blair married Cherie Booth, a fellow barrister. Booth has since gone on to become one of London's most successful and best known lawyers. They have four children—Euan, Nicholas, Kathryn, and Leo. The youngest was born in May 2000 and was the first baby to be born at the residence of the prime minister in 150 years.