Born in 1929, Bob Hawke built up a position of great influence in the Australian trade union movement during 20 years with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).
His 10-year term as the council’s president (1970 – 1980) and his leadership of the Australian Labor Party (1973 – 1978) put him in a strong position when he entered parliament.
His flamboyant personality made him a popular leader, though he was criticised for taking the Labor party away from its traditional values through his deregulation of banking and removal of state ownership from key industries.
In 1990, he became the Labor party’s longest-serving prime minister but was replaced the following year after press allegations about his extra-marital affairs.
“Anyone who sacks a bloke because he doesn’t turn up for work today is a bum ”
Bob Hawke after Australia won the America’s Cup, 1983