LONDON — Lord Soames, the British statesman who was a son-in-law of Winston Churchill and who presided over the transition of Rhodesia, Britain's last colony in Africa, into independent Zimbabwe, died today, his family said. He was 66.
Soames, governor of Southern Rhodesia from 1979-80, received a special tribute from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on his return home to resume his duties as leader of the House of Lords. A tubby, balding mountain of a man with a palate for good wine, Soames at times suffered from minor heart trouble. His wife was Lady Mary Soames, the younger daughter of Britain's wartime prime minister.