Dr George Leonard Carey was the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, having succeeded Dr Robert Runcie in 1991. He passed the archiepiscopal throne on to his successor, Rowan Williams, on 27 February 2003.

He is the first such archbishop to be born to working-class parents, in the East End of London, on 13 November 1935. He left school at 15 to work for the London Electricity Board, and did his National Service as a radio operator in the Royal Air Force between 1954 and 1956.

He was educated at Bifrons Secondary Modern School, the London College of Divinity, and King's College, London. He became a deacon in 1962, curate of St Mary's church in in Islington later that year, and Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1987.

In between his parochial duties he has also been a college lecturer and principal: at Southgate then Nottingham from 1966 to 1975, and principal of Trinity College, Bristol from 1982 to 1987.

Dr Carey is in favour of the ordination of women. He and his wife Eileen (married 1960) have two sons and two daughters.

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