Jan Smuts (1870-1950)

 

SmutsSouth African general and statesman, Smuts initially trained as a lawyer but was drawn into politics, fighting against the British in the Second Boer War (1899-1902).  He entered the South African parliament in 1907, and served two terms as Prime Minister (1919-24 and 1939-48).  He played an important role at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and was instrumental in setting up the League of Nations (forerunner of the United Nations).  Defeated in the South African general election of 1948 (which brought the National Party to power), Smuts was elected Chancellor of Cambridge University and held the post until his death two years later. 

Smuts was admitted to Christ's College on 15th October 1891, elected scholar in 1892 and gained his LLB in 1894.