Profession: New Zealand Prime Minister
Why Famous: Muldoon served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1975 to 1984. Prior to this he had served as Minister of Tourism, Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister in successive National governments.
In 1975, Muldoon was elected Prime Minister of New Zealand. His tenure saw stagnation in the country's economy, symbolized by high inflation, interventionist policies known as "Think Big", wage and price freezes, high external borrowing and chronic unemployment. In other areas he adopted several policies such as introducing national superannuation and industrial incentives.
His refusal to stop the Springbok Tour of 1981 led to some of the largest civil disturbances in New Zealand history. In 1984 he called a snap election, visibly drunk, and lost in a landslide to Labour led by David Lange. Before he left office, a constitutional crisis ensued over his refusal to devalue the New Zealand dollar; he was eventually forced to give way.
Muldoon was popular with many for his straight-talking persona, but he was equally disliked by many for his authoritarian tendencies and his bullying nature.
- Muldoon, Robert David - Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand