Politician. Mayor of Vienna from 1984 to 1994, he was a senior member of the Social Democratic Party of Austria. After completing advanced studies in German, psychology and philosophy, he joined the Social Democrats in 1950. He began his career in journalism, working as ombudsman for the mass-circulation daily "Kronen Zeitung" and then for Austria's largest national broadcaster, Oesterreichishcer Rundfunk (ÖRF), where his TV program, "Auslands Echo" (Foreign Echo)earned Germany's Golden Camera trophy in 1966, and rose to program director. His political career commenced in 1979 when Vienna mayor Leopold Gratz appointed him city councilman for culture. Appointed Austria's Minister of Education in 1983 by Chancellor Fred Sinowatz, a position he held until becoming mayor of Vienna in September 1984. He became the voice of politics in Austria and in 1993 lost part of his left hand from a letter bomb he received in his personal mail. Retiring from active politics, he moderated the Austrian talk show "Lebenskünstler" several times each year until shortly before his death.
Bio by: Fred Beisser