George Strauss was born in London, 18 July 1901, the son of Arthur Strauss and Minna Cohen. He was educated at Rugby School. He married Patricia O'Flynn in 1932 (died 1987), with whom he had two sons and one daughter, and Benita Armstrong in 1987.
He joined the family firm of metal merchants, A. Strauss and Co. Ltd, in the City of London, 1920. He represented North Lambeth, 1925-31, and South East Southwark, 1932-46, on the London County Council. He was Labour Member of Parliament for Lambeth North, 1929-31, 1934-50, and Lambeth, Vauxhall, 1950-79. He was a founder and financial backer of the left-wing weekly newspaper "Tribune", established in 1936. He visited Spain during the Spanish Civil War, 1938-9, and was briefly expelled from the Labour Party, 1939, for his involvement in the anti-Fascist Popular Front Campaign. He held the following posts: Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of Transport, 1929-31, and to the Lord Privy Seal, later the Minister of Aircraft Production, 1942-5; Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Transport, 1945-7; and Minister of Supply, 1947-51, responsible for the nationalisation of the iron and steel industries. He introduced a Bill abolishing theatre censorship, 1968, and was Father of the House of Commons, 1974-9. He died on 5 June 1993.
He was created a life peer, as Lord Strauss of Vauxhall, 1979.
Copy of an unpublished autobiography, 1901-90
The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Lady Benita Strauss, 1994.
The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.
Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.
Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of George Strauss, STRS
A copy of this finding aid and catalogue is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London, and on the Janus website, http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk.
This collection (fonds) level description and catalogue was prepared by Sophie Bridges, September 2003. Information was obtained from "Who's Who 1897-1996" (A and C Black) and from obituaries in "The Daily Telegraph" (7 June 1993) and "The Independent".
The original autobiography has been retained by Lady Benita Strauss.