Jeffrey Howard Archer is a British author and politician born in London and raised in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. He attended the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education without graduating and competed in athletics, mainly sprinting and hurdling. His performance has been questioned in recent years, however. Archer met his future wife Mary Weeden, who teaches chemistry at Cambridge, while at university. The couple have two children. Archer subsequently started a PR firm, and in 1967 he ran for the Tories. In 1969 he was elected to the House of Commons as the youngest Member of Parliament ever. In 1974, a Canadian company in which Archer was a major shareholder collapsed. He found himself with half a million pounds in debts and was forced to leave his seat.
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