Howard, John (Australia)
Liberal Party member for Bennelong in northwest Sydney since 1974, John Howard became Australia’s 25th prime minister in March 1996. Known as an economic rationalist, Howard is also a staunch monarchist who nevertheless organized the 1999 referendum on establishing a republic. His second and third terms were dominated by foreign policy initiatives, in the Asia-Pacific region and in support of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Successes in Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands boosted his support domestically but strained relations with several close neighbours, most notably Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. His fourth term of office began in Oct. 2004. Foreign affairs have again featured prominently as he announced further deployments of Australian forces to Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands in 2005 and 2006. Howard left office on 3 Dec. 2007 after being defeated by Kevin Rudd in the previous month’s elections.
John Winston Howard was born on 26 July 1939...