Hawke, Bob (Robert James Lee Hawke), 1929–, Australian statesman. A Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, he gained a reputation as a skillful labor mediator during his tenure at the Australian Council of Trade Unions, of which he eventually became president. He served as national president of the Labor party (1973–78) before being elected to Parliament in 1980. He became party leader in 1983 and following his party's electoral victory later that year won the first of three successive terms as prime minister. He sought to decrease Australia's dependence on the export of raw materials and make the nation more competitive internationally in manufactured goods. In Dec., 1991, Hawke lost a party leadership fight and a new Labor government was formed with Paul Keating as prime minister.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Australian, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands History: Biographies