Sir John Gorton was an Australian politician, who served as the 19th Prime Minister of Australia from 1968 to 1971. Gorton was born on September 9, 1911 in Melbourne, Australia. He was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School and Geelong Grammar School, before travelling to England to attend Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1940, following the outbreak of World War II, Gorton enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve (RAAF) and trained as a fighter pilot. In 1942, while serving in the RAAF, Gorton suffered severe facial injuries in a plane crash, leading him to undergo reconstructive surgery. After being discharged from the RAAF in 1944, he entered local government and joined the Country Party, later switching to the Liberal Party. In 1949 Gorton successfully stood as a Senate candidate for Victoria, and served in various positions under Robert Menzies and Harold Holt. On January 10, 1968, Gorton was elected Liberal-Country Party coalition leader following Harold Holt's presumed drowning off the Victorian coast. He became the first senator to be appointed as Prime Minister, and subsequently transferred to the lower house in Holt’s former seat of Higgins. Gorton's time in office saw the passage of some key legislation and some major developments in the Australian national landscape, however dissatisfaction with Gorton's leadership within the Liberal Party led to a party room challenge from William McMahon in November, 1969. The challenge was unsuccessful but opposition to Gorton continued to mount, and in 1971 he was replaced as leader after casting the deciding vote against himself. In 1975 Gorton resigned from the Liberal Party and he retired from politics soon after. John Gorton was knighted in 1977, and appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1988. He died on May 19, 2002, aged 90.