U Thant was born in Burma in 1909, educated at Rangoon University and eventually become an educator, senior civil servant and diplomat. In 1962 he was elected Secretary General of the United Nations, a post he held with distinction until his retirement in 1971.
During his tenure, Thant won deep respect for his skill, his commitment and his seemingly imperturbable calm. He was a devout Buddhist and said that his daily practice of meditation helped him keep his balance in the face of the numerous crises he had to deal with and see the best way to resolve them. He died in 1974. U Thant was the first Buddhist in modern times to win international recognition and respect.
Under the Third Roof, Terence Abreu, 1987.