Born in 1909, U Thant studied History at Rangoon University and became a close assistant to U Nu. After 1948, he joined the Civil Service before being appointed Secretary to the Prime Minister (1951-57). In 1957, U Nu sent him to the United Nations as Burma’s permanent representative. On November 1961, he was elected UN Secretary General. After his two mandates (1961-71), he remained dedicated to UN diplomacy until his death in New York in November 1974.