Blind since birth, David Blunkett emerged as a successful politician through sheer determination. After losing his father in an industrial accident, he and his mother were left virtually penniless, but with immense willpower, he earned a place at Sheffield University.
Soon he became a Labour councillor and was later appointed as the leader of Sheffield Council. He chaired the Labour Party during the 1990s, gradually becoming one of the leading voices calling for modernization of the party. David entered Parliament in 1987 as Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough. Within 15 months he had been appointed Shadow Local Government Minister before becoming first Shadow Health Secretary and then Shadow Education Secretary, paving the way towards becoming the Secretary of Education in Tony Blair’s cabinet in 1997.
His success as the Education Secretary saw him promoted to Home Secretary after the 2001 election. As Home Secretary at the time of 9/11, David Blunkett has served through the most testing of times. The turbulence was not confined to his political life; few senior politicians have experienced quite so many ups and downs, and none have achieved high office having been blind since birth.
Since 2015 he has served in the House of Lords and his life is a source of inspiration to millions of people around the globe.