John Malcolm Fraser was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1930. The grandson of an influential politician and businessman, Fraser was educated at Oxford University, and later became a millionaire sheep farmer, following his father’s occupation.
He entered the Australian federal parliament in 1955 and began his ministerial career in 1966, holding the defence portfolio between 1969 and 1971 during the Vietnam War.
His resignation from the Cabinet in 1971 was followed by John Gorton’s removal as prime minister after a no-confidence vote.
In March 1975 Fraser replaced Billy Snedden as Australian Liberal Party leader. In November, following the Whitlam government’s economic difficulties, he blocked finance bills in the Senate, became prime minister of a caretaker government, and in the consequent general election won a large majority.
He lost to Bob Hawke in the 1983 election.
Malcolm Fraser died in March 2015, aged 84, after a brief illness.