Hawke, Bob (Robert James Lee Hawke), 1929?2019, 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 (1969?80). He served as national president of the Labor party (1973?78) before being elected to Parliament in 1980 (he had run unsuccessfully in 1963). He became party leader in 1983 and following his party's electoral victory later that year won the first of four 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. Securing labor peace, he liberalized the country's economy and trade, and enacted a number of health, social welfare, and education reforms. 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.
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