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Blake Whitaker

Southern Rhodesian politician and prime minister of Rhodesia from 11 November 1965 until 1 June 1979, was born in Southern Rhodesia on 19 April 1919. His father was the prominent farmer and rancher John Douglas Smith, MBE. His mother, Agnes Smith, MBE, was the daughter of Rhodesian miner Tom Hodgson. While seldom involved in politics, the family was heavily involved in civic and agricultural activities. As a young man, Smith was educated at the Chaplin School in Gwelo. While he enjoyed math and the sciences, he excelled in rugby and cricket. In 1938 he began studying for a bachelor’s degree in commerce at Rhodes University in South Africa. His studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II; from 1941 until 1945 he served in Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot During his service in North Africa a mechanical malfunction caused his Hawker Hurricane to ...