U.N. weapons inspection team boss and the scourge of Iraq.
Butler was born in Sydney on May 13th, 1942 and educated at Randwick boys high school, Sydney University and ANU.
It was at Bondi Beach public school that Richard had his first insight into international politics and diplomacy as he listened with his classmates, many being migrant from war-torn countries, and deciding there and then that he wanted to be a peacemaker.
In 1965 he joined the Foreign Affairs Department in Canberra, where he was known by some as the Black Prince. Posted to Vienna from 1966-69.
From 1970-73 he was first secretary at United Nations in New York.
After 'the dismissal' in 1975 he was principal private secretary to the ex-Prime Minister and new Opposition Leader, Gough Whitlam.
In 1983 the Hawke government appointed him as Australia's permanent representative on disarmament to the United Nations in Geneva.
In the late 80s he was Australian ambassador to Thailand and played a major part in the Cambodian peace settlement.
In 1996 when Australian ambassador to the United Nations he helped secure an international nuclear test ban but shouldered much of the blame for Australia failing to win a seat on the Security Council.
He was appointed chairman of UNSCOM in May, 1997. He conceded that his current posting was a 'bugger of a job'.
Many see him as arrogant and even UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticised him for using"undiplomatic" language about Iraq and in the past has urged him to tone down his rhetoric on the powers-that-be in Baghdad.
Currently, December 1998, he is behind giving Saddam Hussein a blast from the past as the USA and Britain have fired more missiles on Iraq than were used in the Gulf War. Poor Bill Clinton, with his troubles at home in Washington, do you suppose he is caught between Iraq and a hard place?
Richard Butler is to retire in June '99 when his 2 year contract with UNSCOM expires.