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# rags to riches
These are the childhood homes of some of the most powerful leaders in history
Some came from very humble beginnings.

WORLD LEADERS SPEND much of their time in some of the grandest residences in the world.

Owning the keys to these properties is the pinnacle of any politician’s career and is the ultimate showcase of success — but every great story has a beginning.

The leaders who call these places home often come from humble beginnings.

With that in mind we’ve looked into the childhood of some of history’s most powerful leaders to see where they spent their younger years.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: The Russian President was named the most powerful man in the world by Forbes and has an undisclosed net worth thought to be in the tens of billions. The Kremlin Palace, pictured, is one of several official residences of the president.

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But as a child, Putin lived in this far-from-grand apartment block in St Petersburg. He and his parents lived in a three-bedroom communal home shared by three families.

but-as-a-child-putin-lived-in-this-far-from-grand-apartment-block-in-st-petersburg-he-and-his-parents-lived-in-a-three-bedroom-communal-home-shared-by-three-families Associated Press Associated Press

BARACK OBAMA: The White House is probably the most iconic residence of any world leader. It has housed every sitting president since it was built in 1792, including the current president, Barack Obama.

white house Andrew Parsons / PA Archive Andrew Parsons / PA Archive / PA Archive

But before becoming the leader of the free world, Obama grew up in this modest bungalow on University Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii.

but-before-becoming-the-leader-of-the-free-world-obama-grew-up-in-this-modest-bungalow-on-university-avenue-in-honolulu-hawaii Jax Stumpes Jax Stumpes

DAVID CAMERON: It may be fairly reserved looking from the outside, but 10 Downing Street is actually three properties knocked into one, boasting over 200 rooms and a walled garden. It’s currently home to Prime Minister David Cameron.

downing st Tim Ireland / AP/PA Images Tim Ireland / AP/PA Images / AP/PA Images

But Cameron was already used to a lavish lifestyle. He was born into a wealthy family and lived in a country mansion in the quiet village of Peasemore, England — just a 40-minute​ drive from the famous Eton College where he would later go to school.

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ANGELA MERKEL: Germany’s Chancellery is ten times bigger than The White House and has a semi-official residence for the chancellor on the top floor. However, Angela Merkel chooses to live in her own apartment at Kurpfergraben 6, in the Mitte District of Berlin, pictured below.

angela-merkel-germanys-chancellery-is-ten-times-bigger-than-the-white-house-and-has-a-semi-official-residence-for-the-chancellor-on-the-top-floor-however-angela-merkel-chooses-to-live-in-her-own-apartment-at-kurpfergraben Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

From the outside, her current dwelling isn’t a far cry from her understated childhood home in Hamburg where she lived with her parents.

from-the-outside-her-current-dwelling-isnt-a-far-cry-from-her-understated-childhood-home-in-hamburg-where-she-lived-with-her-parents Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

MARGARET THATCHER: Thatcher spent the majority of her later life in this six-storey bombproof mansion in the exclusive Belgravia neighbourhood of central London. It’s currently on the market for £30 million.

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Thatcher’s life was transformed by politics. Before living in multi-million pound mansions, Thatcher lived in a small flat above her father’s greengrocers in Grantham, England.

thatchers-life-was-transformed-by-politics-before-living-in-multi-million-pound-mansions-thatcher-lived-in-a-small-flat-above-her-fathers-green-grocers-in-grantham-england Google Maps Google Maps

ADOLF HITLER: Adolf Hitler spent much of his life in the Kehlsteinhaus, known as the Eagle’s Nest in English, a luxurious hillside retreat above the town of Berchtesgaden. It wasn’t just his home, it was also one of his many headquarters.

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Hitler did not grow up in luxury though. He spent his adolescent years in this modest house in Leonding in Austria. He moved here with his family, aged nine, in November 1898.

hitler-did-not-grow-up-in-luxury-though-he-spent-his-adolescent-years-in-this-modest-house-in-leonding-in-austria-he-moved-here-with-his-family-aged-nine-in-november-1898 Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

Read: The 14 best new buildings on the planet, according to architecture fans

Read: Take a look around Sarah Palin’s ultra-lavish Arizona compound

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