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U Thant (January 22, 1909 – November 25, 1974) was the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, from 1961 to 1971. He was chosen for the post when the then Secretary-General Dag Hammarskj÷ld was killed in an air crash in September 1961.
U Thant was born at Pantanaw, Burma, and was educated at the National High School in Pantanaw and at University College, Rangoon. Prior to his commencing his career as a civil servant and diplomat, he was a teacher and free-lance journalist.
U Thant was appointed Press Director of the government of Burma in 1947. In 1948, he became Director of Broadcasting, and in the following year, he was appointed Secretary to the Government of Burma in the Ministry of Information. From 1957 to 1961, he headed the Burmese delegations to the sessions of the General Assembly.
U Thant began serving as Acting Secretary-General since 3 November 1961, when he was unanimously appointed by the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Security Council, to fill the unexpired term of Dag Hammarskjold. He was then unanimously appointed Secretary-General by the General Assembly on 30 November 1962 for a term of office ending on 3 November 1966.
U Thant was re-appointed for a second term as Secretary-General of the United Nations by the General Assembly on 2 December 1966 on the unanimous recommendation of the Security Council. His term of office continued until December 31, 1971, after which he retired. He died in New York in 1974.
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