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January 22, 1588
April 5, 1649 (aged 61)
2nd, 6th, 9th, and 12th Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
John Winthrop was born on January 12, 1588 in Edwardstone, Suffolk, England. At age 15 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge. At age 17 he married the first of his four wives. In 1613, Adam Winthrop became Lord of the Manor at Groton. His religious experience reinforced his elitist outlook and made him a social activist.
On 8 April 1630, Winthrop sailed on the Arbella,with his two young sons Samuel and Stephen. In the annual Massachusetts elections he was chosen governor 12 times between 1631 and 1648. Winthrop settled at Boston, which quickly became the capital and chief port of Massachusetts.
Winthrop died after struggling six weeks with “a feverish distemper, on 26 March 1649.
Winthrop's reference to the "city upon a hill" has become an enduring symbol in American political discourse. Many American politicians have cited him in their writings or speeches. The Winthrop Building on Water Street in Boston is one of the city's first skyscrapers.
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