Alex Salmond (Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond), better known as Alex, was born in Linlithgow on 31 December 1954. He attended Linlithgow Academy and studied at St Andrew’s University, where he graduated with a joint honours MA in Economics and History.
His professional life began at the Government Economic Service as an Assistant Economist in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland.
In 1980, he embarked on a seven-year career with the Royal Bank of Scotland as an Assistant Economist before being appointed Oil Economist in 1982 and Royal Bank Economist in 1985.
He entered front line politics in 1987 with his election as the MP for Banff & Buchan in Aberdeenshire. In 1990, he was elected as leader of the Scottish National Party and swung the party behind the successful devolution referendum of 2007. He then served as leader of the opposition in the Scottish Parliament after successfully standing for election as the MSP for Banff& Buchan in 1999.
In 2000, he stood down as leader of the SNP. He continued to serve his constituents as the MP for Banff and Buchan. He returned to leadership of the SNP in 2004 and was elected as the MSP for Gordon in May 2007.
He made political history by becoming the first Scottish National Party politician to be elected First Minister of Scotland on 16 May 2007, and remained in the post until November 2014, having been re-elected as First Minister with an absolute majority in the Scottish general election of 2011. In 2014 he led the Yes campaign in the Scottish independence referendum, where 45% of Scottish electorate voted for the country’s independence from the United Kingdom.
His referendum book titled: ‘The Dream Shall Never Die’, depicted the changing social and political landscape in Scotland. It was first published in 2015, topping the Sunday Times best sellers list for two weeks, and has since been published in Scots Gaelic, Basque and French.
In May 2015, he was elected as the MP for Gordon as part of the famous SNP 56, who dramatically changed the make-up of the House of Commons in the wake of the Scottish National Party’s general election landslide.
He served as the SNP’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson in Westminster and campaigned in all four nations of the UK to keep the country in the European Union. Alex stood unsuccessfully for election as the Party’s candidate in Gordon in the 2017 snap General Election, his first defeat in ten parliamentary contests covering four constituencies at Scottish and Westminster levels.
In the summer of 2017, he made his debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his sell-out show Alex Salmond…Unleashed. He performed 19 back-to-back shows over 14 days to an audience of over 6,500 people and raised over £22,000 for charities in Scotland and internationally. Alex’s local charity the Mary Salmond Trust has raised almost £150,000 for community and youth causes in the North East of Scotland since 2007.
As well as stage and television appearances and public speaking, he recently started to host a weekly radio programme on LBC called Salmond on Sunday.
He continues to promote Scotland on the world stage, forging new relationships between Scotland and the global community. He is also a board member of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
He and his wife Moira married in 1981 and live in Strichen, Aberdeenshire.
When not working he enjoys horse racing, football – supporting Scotland and Heart of Midlothian FC – golf and reading.
- Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond Biography (Alexander Elliot Anderson Salmond)