British attorney and human rights advocate Cherie Booth Blair, wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair, will deliver the Percy C. Ratliff Lecture at Samford University March 1. She will speak at 6 p.m. in Wright Center Concert Hall in a program open to the public.
Blair is recognized by Forbes Magazine as among the most powerful women in the world. Britain's first lady practices law under her maiden name as a specialist in human rights and employment law with a London firm.
After studying law at the London School of Economics, she was at the top of her class in her Bar examinations and was called to the Bar in 1976. She became a Queen's Counsel, a title held by only 10 percent of English lawyers, in 1995.
She married Tony Blair in 1980, and they are parents of four children.
She is the author of a recently published book, The Goldfish Bowl, written with social historian Cate Haste, that takes a close look at the lives of spouses of other British Prime Ministers. She serves in leadership roles and as patron of numerous charitable and public service organizations.
The New York Times described her as "something of a wonder woman for her ability to balance her high-powered professional life, high-visibility public life and intensely consuming private life."
The Percy C. Ratliff Lecture is named for the early Birmingham business leader and member of the Samford Board of Trustees from 1903 until his death in 1928. The lecture is presented periodically as a benefit to the community.
John Major, Condoleezza Rice and Louis Rukeyser were previous Percy C. Ratliff Lecturers at Samford.