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Harold Holt

Australia's 17th Prime Minister, Harold Holt was in office from 26 January 1966 to 19 December 1967, when he was officially pronounced dead after drowning at sea.

Harold Holt with Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1966

Harold Holt with Lyndon Baines Johnson, the first US president to visit Australia, and 'First Lady' Ladybird Johnson, in October 1966.

NAA: A1200, L59270

Holt won his first seat in parliament in 1935. He became Australia's youngest minister in 1939 when Prime Minister Robert Menzies allocated him a junior role. For three-quarters of his 32 years in parliament, he was on the government benches. His only period in Opposition was from 1941 to 1949. Holt held the senior portfolios of Immigration and of Labour and National Service in the 1950s, and became Treasurer in 1958.

One of the most hard-working of Australia's Cabinet ministers, after 32 years as a parliamentarian, Harold Holt reached the prime ministerial office in 1966. The third Prime Minister to die in office, Harold Holt is widely remembered for the unusual circumstances of his death while swimming off the Victorian coast in December 1967.

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