'Larrikin' Bob Hawke dies at 89

World | 17 May 2019

Bob Hawke, a transformative and charismatic left-wing lawmaker with a "larrikin" streak who served as Australian prime minister from 1983 to 1991, has died aged 89.

"The Australian people loved Bob Hawke because they knew Bob loved them, this was true to the very end," Labor Party leader Bill Shorten said.

While others may have struggled to dismiss a reputation for boisterous, if well-meaning, behavior, Hawke said it helped him win favor with working-class voters. Hawke earned his reputation as a "larrikin" in part due to his setting a world record for drinking a "yard", or 1.4 liters of beer, in 11 seconds while at Oxford University.

A former trade union leader, Hawke was riding high in opinion polls by the mid-1980s and won re-election in 1987 despite an economic downturn. He won a fourth election in 1990.


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