For the last seven years of his life, this prominent member of the United Australia Party served as his country's tenth Prime Minister. Earlier in his political career, as a member of the Labor Party, he served as Premier of Tasmania.
After attending the Philip Smith Teachers' Training College and subsequently working as a teacher, he began his political career as a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly.
A congenial and easy-going man and a hugely popular leader, he was portrayed by political cartoonists as a drowsy koala.
A native of Stanley, Tasmania, he was the child of Irish-born parents. His marriage to fellow politician Enid Lyons produced twelve children.
His decade of service as prime minister spanned the reigns of three British kings: George V, Edward VIII, and George VI.