Birth Name: John Whitaker Straw
Place of Birth: Epping, Essex, England, U.K.
Date of Birth: 3 August, 1946
Jack Straw is an English politician. A member of the Labour Party, he was a Member of Parliament for Blackburn, from 3 May, 1979 to 30 March, 2015, Home Secretary, from 2 May, 1997 to 8 June, 2001, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, from 8 June, 2001 to 5 May, 2006, Leader of the House of Commons Lord Privy Seal, from 5 May, 2006 to 27 June, 2007, and Secretary of State for Justice Lord Chancellor, from 28 June, 2007 to 11 May, 2010.
Jack is of English descent. He is the son of Joan Sylvia (Gilbey) and Walter Arthur Whitaker Straw.
Jack has frequently stated that a maternal grandparent or great-grandparent of his was Jewish (from either a German Jewish or Eastern European Jewish family). This does not appear to be accurate. No Jewish ancestry appears on family trees of Jack’s mother. In his book autobiography, Last Man Standing: Memoirs Of A Political Survivor (2012), Jack states that his maternal grandmother, Olive Bill, was from an Eastern European Jewish immigrant family. This is not accurate. Olive’s family was of non-Jewish English descent, and one of Olive’s recent English ancestors was born in Sri Lanka (as part of English colonialism).
Jack’s paternal grandparents were Arthur Whitaker Straw (the son of Walter Straw and Ann) and Louise Josephine Inman (the daughter of George Woollen Inman and Sarah Ann Ladbrook). George was the son of George Inman and Elizabeth Woollen.
Jack’s maternal grandfather was Ernest John Gilbey (the son of John Clayden Gilbey and Elizabeth Ann Haggar). John was the son of Thomas John Gilbey and Martha Burling. Elizabeth was the daughter of Joseph Hagar and Mary Rogers Cooper.
Jack’s maternal grandmother was Olive Ethel Bill (the daughter of Thomas Henry Bill and Cecelia Charlotte Hall/Halls). Thomas was the son of Henry Edward Bill, who was born in Sri Lanka, of English parentage, and of Amelia Keane. Cecelia was the daughter of Richard Gibbs Halls and Lavinia Mary Jane Vaughan.
Photo by Ministry of Justice