British politician John Major served as prime minister of the United Kingdom from November 1990 to May 1997. John Major left school when he was 15 amid his family's financial struggles. He joined the Young Conservatives when he was 16. As Major did not receive an elite private education, he was an anomaly in politics and the Conservative party (also called the Tory party). Yet he rose through the ranks to succeed Margaret Thatcher as Britain's prime minister in November 1990. He served as prime minister until May 1997, when the Labour party won control of Parliament and Tony Blair became prime minister. Major remained a member of Parliament until 2001. He was knighted in 2005, becoming Sir John Major. He is married to Norma Major; the two share a son and daughter.