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John Profumo

John Dennis Profumo (born 1915) was the British Conservative cabinet minister whose indiscretions effectively discredited the government in 1963, before its defeat in 1964. Profumo was educated at Harrow and Magdalen College, Oxford, and went into parliament in 1940. He married the actress, Valerie Hobson. In 1960, he was appointed Secretary of State for War (a now obsolete title) under Harold Macmillan, but became embroiled in a relationship with Christine Keeler, a showgirl who was simultaneously involved with an attache at the Soviet Embassy. Although there was no suspicion of his having passed on any state secrets, Profumo was forced to resign when the details of the affair were discovered. He retired from public life, becoming a charity worker, and was awarded the CBE in 1975. His son is the journalist and novelist, David Profumo.

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