Home Biographies Jan Smuts Biography 1870 – 1950

Jan Smuts Biography 1870 – 1950

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Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, OM, CH, DTD, ED, PC, KC, FRS was a South African statesman, military leader and philosopher. In addition to holding various military and cabinet posts, he served as prime minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 to 1924 and 1939 to 1948.

Smuts played a major role in the achievement of responsible government for the Transvaal (1906) and the Union of South Africa (1910). When Smuts went to England at the end of 1905 to urge the Cabinet to give the Transvaal self-government he came to know a new English word.

The Right Honourable Jan Smuts

BORN: 24 May 1870

HOME TOWN: Bovenplaats, Cape Colony

PARENT: Catharina Petronella Philippina Gerhardina Smuts (mother) and Jacobus Abraham Smuts (father)

SPOUSE: Issie Krige

DIED: 11 September 1950 (aged 80)

PLACE OF DEATH: Irene, Union of South Africa

RESTING PLACE: Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Ashes scattered on a koppie on his farm near Irene

CHILDREN: Japie Smuts, Louis Smuts, Cato Smuts, Jannie Smuts, Santa Smuts

OCCUPATION: Politician, Philosopher, Barrister

AWARDS: George Long prize in Roman Law and Jurisprudence. One of his tutors, Professor Maitland, a leading figure among English legal historians, described Smuts as the most brilliant student he had ever met…

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