Background of John Hume
Background of Social Democratic and Labor Party leader John Hume, the Catholic civil-rights campaigner who shared Friday’s Nobel Peace Prize with Northern Ireland’s leading British Protestant politician, David Trimble:
BORN: Jan. 18, 1937, in Londonderry, Northern Ireland’s second-largest city.
CAREER: Helped found the moderate Social Democratic and Labor Party in 1970 and four years later became commerce secretary in a short-lived government that tried to share power between Protestants and Catholics. Was elected to the European Parliament in 1979 and the British Parliament in 1983. In 1997, turned down a chance to be the Irish Republic’s president to take part in Belfast negotiations.
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS: Helped broker the Irish Republican Army’s first cease-fire, which lasted 13 days, in 1972, and inspired British and Irish governments to strike a treaty of cooperation over Northern Ireland in 1985. Launched personal dialogue with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in 1993 that encouraged IRA cease-fires and this year led the SDLP to the No. 1 spot in a Northern Ireland election for first time.
PERSONAL: Married his wife, Pat, in 1960. They have five grown children, none of whom are involved in politics and all of whom live outside Northern Ireland. Extremely fond of cigarettes and Crunchy chocolate bars.