Thomas Klestil

Thomas Klestil

President of Austria from 1992 to 2004
Date of Birth: 04.11.1932
Country: Austria

  1. Biography of Thomas Klestil
  2. Early Career
  3. Diplomatic and Political Career
  4. Presidency and Controversies

Biography of Thomas Klestil

Thomas Klestil was born on November 4, 1932, in Vienna, Austria. His father came from Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) but had been living in Vienna since 1912. Klestil completed his schooling in 1952 and went on to graduate from the College of World Trade (now Vienna University of Economics and Business) in 1956. He obtained his doctorate in commercial sciences in 1957.

Early Career

In November 1957, Klestil began working in the office of the country's prime minister. He was then appointed to the Austrian mission to the Organization for European Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris in 1959. From 1966 to 1969, he served in the staff of the federal chancellor (prime minister) as the person responsible for economic policy and foreign trade.

Diplomatic and Political Career

Klestil served as the economic attaché at the Austrian Embassy in the United States from 1962 to 1966 and as the consul general in Los Angeles from 1969 to 1974. He was the Austrian representative to the United Nations (UN) from 1978 to 1982 and also held the position of ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States from 1982 to 1987. Additionally, from 1974 to 1978, he headed a division of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for UN affairs. As a representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he became a member of the advisory board of the company that built the UN center in Vienna.

In 1987, Klestil became the Secretary General for Foreign Affairs and the coordinator of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1992, he was nominated as a candidate for the presidency of Austria by the Austrian People's Party. He won the election on May 24, 1992, with 56.9% of the votes and assumed office as the President of Austria on July 8, 1992.

Presidency and Controversies

Klestil served as the President of Austria from 1992 to 2004. However, his popularity among Austrian Catholics declined due to his divorce from his wife and subsequent marriage to a young assistant. Despite these controversies, Klestil made significant contributions to Austria during his presidency, particularly in the areas of international relations and diplomacy.

After completing his term as president, Klestil retired from politics. He passed away on July 6, 2004, leaving behind a legacy as a dedicated diplomat and statesman who served his country for many years.