Bob Hawke

World Leader

Bob Hawke was born on December 9th, 1929 in Bordertown, South Australia, Australia and is the World Leader from Australia. Discover Bob Hawke's biography, age, height, physical stats, dating/affair, family, hobbies, education, career updates, and networth at the age of 89 years old.

Date of Birth
December 9, 1929
Place of Birth
Bordertown, South Australia, Australia
Death Date
May 16, 2019 (age 89)
Zodiac Sign
Politician, Trade Unionist, Union Organizer
Bob Hawke Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 89 years old, Bob Hawke has this physical status:

Not Available
Hair Color
Not Available
Eye Color
Not Available
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Bob Hawke Religion, Education, and Hobbies
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University of Western Australia (BA, LLB), University College, Oxford (BLett), Australian National University (PhD, not completed)
Bob Hawke Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Hazel Masterson ​ ​(m. 1956; div. 1994)​, Blanche d'Alpuget ​ ​(m. 1995)​
Dating / Affair
Not Available
Clem Hawke (father)
Albert Hawke (uncle)
About Bob Hawke

Robert James Lee Hawke, (9 December 1929 – 16 May 2019) was an Australian politician who served as Prime Minister of Australia and Leader of the Labor Party from 1983 to 1991.

He was also Member of Parliament (MP) for Wills from 1980 to 1992. Hawke was born in Bordertown, South Australia.

He attended the University of Western Australia and went on to study at University College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

In 1956, Hawke joined the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) as a research officer.

Having risen to become responsible for wage arbitration, he was elected ACTU President in 1969, where he achieved a high public profile. After a decade serving in that role, Hawke announced his intention to enter politics, and was subsequently elected to the House of Representatives as the Labor MP for Wills in Victoria.

Three years later, he led Labor to a landslide victory at the 1983 election and was sworn in as Australia's 23rd Prime Minister.

He went on to lead Labor to victory three more times, in 1984, 1987 and 1990, making him the most electorally successful Labor Leader in history. The Hawke Government created Medicare and Landcare, brokered the Prices and Incomes Accord, established APEC, floated the Australian dollar, deregulated the financial sector, introduced the Family Assistance Scheme, announced "Advance Australia Fair" as the official national anthem, initiated superannuation pension schemes for all workers and oversaw passage of the Australia Act that removed all remaining jurisdiction by the United Kingdom from Australia.

During his time as Prime Minister, Hawke recorded the highest popularity rating ever measured by an Australian opinion poll, reaching 75% approval in 1984.In June 1991, Treasurer Paul Keating unsuccessfully challenged for the leadership, believing that Hawke had reneged on the Kirribilli Agreement.

Keating mounted a second challenge six months later, this time narrowly succeeding.

Hawke subsequently retired from Parliament, pursuing both a business career and a number of charitable causes, until his death in 2019, aged 89.

Hawke remains Labor's longest-serving and Australia's third-longest-serving Prime Minister; he is also the only Prime Minister to be born in South Australia and the only one raised in Western Australia.

Early life and family

Bob Hawke was born on 9 December 1929 in Border Town, South Australia, the second child of Arthur "Clem" Hawke (1898–1989), a Congregationalist minister, and his wife Edith Emily (Lee) (1897–1979) (known as Ellie), a schoolteacher. His uncle, Albert, was the Labor premier of Western Australia between 1953 and 1959.

Hawke's brother Neil, who was seven years his senior, died at the age of seventeen after contracting meningitis, for which there was no cure at the time. Ellie Hawke subsequently developed an almost messianic belief in her son's destiny, and this contributed to Hawke's supreme self-confidence throughout his career. At the age of fifteen, he presciently boasted to friends that he would one day become the prime minister of Australia.

At the age of seventeen, the same age that his brother Neil had died, Hawke had a serious accident while riding his Panther motorcycle that left him in a critical condition for several days. This near-death experience acted as his catalyst, driving him to make the most of his talents and not let his abilities go to waste. He joined the Labor Party in 1947 at the age of eighteen.

Education and early career

Hawke was educated at West Leederville State School, Perth Modern School and the University of Western Australia, graduating in 1952 with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. He was also president of the university's guild during the same year. The following year, Hawke won a Rhodes Scholarship to attend University College, Oxford, where he began a Bachelor of Arts course in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE). He soon found he was covering much the same ground as he had in his education at the University of Western Australia, and transferred to a Bachelor of Letters course. He wrote his thesis on wage-fixing in Australia and successfully presented it in January 1956.

His academic achievements were complemented by setting a new world record for beer drinking; he downed 2+1⁄2 imperial pints (1.4 l)—equivalent to a yard of ale—from a sconce pot in 11 seconds as part of a college penalty. In his memoirs, Hawke suggested that this single feat may have contributed to his political success more than any other, by endearing him to an electorate with a strong beer culture.

In 1956, Hawke accepted a scholarship to undertake doctoral studies in the area of arbitration law in the law department at the Australian National University in Canberra. Soon after his arrival at ANU, Hawke became the students' representative on the University Council. A year later, Hawke was recommended to the President of the ACTU to become a research officer, replacing Harold Souter who had become ACTU Secretary. The recommendation was made by Hawke's mentor at ANU, H. P. Brown, who for a number of years had assisted the ACTU in national wage cases. Hawke decided to abandon his doctoral studies and accept the offer, moving to Melbourne with his wife Hazel.

Retirement and later life

After leaving Parliament, Hawke entered the business world, taking on a number of directorships and consultancy positions which enabled him to achieve considerable financial success. He avoided public involvement with the Labor Party during Keating's tenure as Prime Minister, not wanting to be seen as attempting to overshadow his successor. After Keating's defeat and the election of the Howard government at the 1996 election, he returned to public campaigning with Labor and regularly appearing at election launches. Despite his personal affection for Queen Elizabeth II, boasting that he had been her "favourite Prime Minister", Hawke was an enthusiastic republican and joined the campaign for a Yes vote in the 1999 republic referendum.

In 2002, Hawke was named to South Australia's Economic Development Board during the Rann Government. In the lead up to the 2007 election, Hawke made a considerable personal effort to support Kevin Rudd, making speeches at a large number of campaign office openings across Australia, and appearing in multiple campaign advertisements. As well as campaigning against WorkChoices, Hawke also attacked John Howard's record as Treasurer, stating "it was the judgement of every economist and international financial institution that it was the restructuring reforms undertaken by my government, with the full cooperation of the trade union movement, which created the strength of the Australian economy today". In February 2008, after Rudd's victory, Hawke joined former Prime Ministers Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating in Parliament House to witness the long anticipated apology to the Stolen Generations.

In 2009, Hawke helped establish the Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding at the University of South Australia. Interfaith dialogue was an important issue for Hawke, who told the Adelaide Review that he was "convinced that one of the great potential dangers confronting the world is the lack of understanding in regard to the Muslim world. Fanatics have misrepresented what Islam is. They give a false impression of the essential nature of Islam."

In 2016, after taking part in Andrew Denton's Better Off Dead podcast, Hawke added his voice to calls for voluntary euthanasia to be legalised. Hawke labelled as 'absurd' the lack of political will to fix the problem. He revealed that he had such an arrangement with his wife Blanche should such a devastating medical situation occur. He also publicly advocated for nuclear power and the importation of international spent nuclear fuel to Australia for storage and disposal, stating that this could lead to considerable economic benefits for Australia.

In late December 2018, Hawke revealed that he was in "terrible health". While predicting a Labor win in the upcoming 2019 federal election, Hawke said he "may not witness the party's success". In May 2019, the month of the election, he issued a joint statement with Paul Keating endorsing Labor's economic plan and condemning the Liberal Party for "completely [giving] up the economic reform agenda". They stated that "Shorten's Labor is the only party of government focused on the need to modernise the economy to deal with the major challenge of our time: human induced climate change". It was the first joint press statement released by the two since 1991.

On 16 May 2019, two days before the election, Hawke died at his home in Northbridge at the age of 89, following a short illness. His family held a private cremation on 27 May at Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium where he was subsequently interred. A state memorial was held at the Sydney Opera House on 14 June; speakers included Craig Emerson as master of ceremonies and Kim Beazley reading the eulogy, as well as Paul Keating, Julia Gillard, Bill Kelty, Ross Garnaut, and incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese.

Personal life

Hawke married Hazel Masterson in 1956 at Perth Trinity Church. They had three children: Susan (born 1957), Stephen (born 1959) and Roslyn (born 1960). Their fourth child, Robert Jr, died in early infancy in 1963. Hawke was named Victorian Father of the Year in 1971, an honour which his wife disputed due to his heavy drinking and womanising. The couple divorced in 1995, after he left her for the writer Blanche d'Alpuget, and the two lived together in Northbridge, a suburb of the North Shore of Sydney. The divorce estranged Hawke from some of his family for a period, although they had reconciled by the 2010s.

Throughout his early life, Hawke was a heavy drinker, having set a world record for drinking during his years as a student. Hawke eventually suffered from alcohol poisoning following the death of his and Hazel's infant son in 1963. He publicly announced in 1980 that he would abstain from alcohol to seek election to Parliament, in a move which garnered significant public attention and support. Hawke began to drink again following his retirement from politics, although to a more manageable extent; on several occasions, in his later years, videos of Hawke downing beer at cricket matches would frequently go viral.

On the subject of religion, Hawke wrote, while attending the 1952 World Christian Youth Conference in India, that "there were all these poverty stricken kids at the gate of this palatial place where we were feeding our face and I just (was) struck by this enormous sense of irrelevance of religion to the needs of people". He subsequently abandoned his Christian beliefs. By the time he entered politics he was a self-described agnostic. Hawke told Andrew Denton in 2008 that his father's Christian faith had continued to influence his outlook, saying "My father said if you believe in the fatherhood of God you must necessarily believe in the brotherhood of man, it follows necessarily, and even though I left the church and was not religious, that truth remained with me."


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