Raoul Bott passed away on December 20, 2005. In a career spanning five decades, he has wrought profound changes on the landscape of geometry and topology. It is a daunting task to improve upon his own reminiscences [B3], [B4], [B1] and commentaries on papers [B5], punctuated as they are by insight, colorful turns of phrases, and amusing anecdotes. This article is an updated reprint of one that first appeared in the book The Founders of Index Theory: Reminiscences of Atiyah, Bott, Hirzebruch, and Singer (edited by S.-T. Yau, International Press, 2003). Taking a personal interest in the project, Raoul Bott introduced me to some of his friends and gave me access to his files. After the original article was completed in June 2000, he read it and verified the essential correctness of the accounts of both his life and his works. In the interest of preserving its official imprimatur as an authorized biography, the only changes I made to the 2003 version consist of this introductory paragraph, an update of the awards he received, and the suppression of a bibliography of his works not referenced in the article.
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N. BERLINE and M. VERGNE, Classes caractéristiques équivariantes, Formule de localisation en cohomologie équivariante, C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris Sér. I Math. 295 (1982), No. 9, 539–541.MathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
R. BOTT, Some recollections from 30 years ago, Constructive Approaches to Mathematical Models, Academic Press, 1979, 33–39.Google Scholar
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R. BOTT, The Dioszeger Years (1923–1929), Raoul Bott: Collected Papers, Vol. 1, Birkhäuser, Boston, 1994, 11–26.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar