One can easily imagine how much money and effort we would be willing to devote to preserve an animal species on the moon if the astronauts had found one. No species on earth is less precious. No effort should be spared to save unique and irreplaceable products of millions of years of evolution with which our small planet has been endowed.
— U Thant, former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
In this Burmese name, U is an honorific.
Thant pictured in 1968.
Secretary-General of the United Nations
In office: November 30, 1961 – December 31, 1971
Preceded by Dag Hammarskjöld
Succeeded by Kurt Waldheim
Born: January 22, 1909, Pantanaw, British Burma, British Raj
Died: November 25, 1974 (aged 65), New York City, United States
Resting place Tomb south of Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Burma (Myanmar)
Spouse(s): Daw Thein Tin
Po Hnit (father)
Nan Thaung (mother)
Tin Maung (brother)
Tin Maung Thant
Aye Aye Thant
Religion: Theravada Buddhism
This article contains Burmese script. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Burmese script.
U Thant (/ˌuː ˈθɑːnt/; Burmese: ဦးသန္႔; MLCTS: u:san.; Burmese pronunciation: [ʔú θa̰ɴ]; January 22, 1909 – November 25, 1974) was a Burmese diplomat and served as the third Secretary-General of the United Nations, from 1961 to 1971. He was chosen for the post when his predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, died in September 1961.
One of his most noteworthy accomplishments during his tenure as Secretary General was his valuable assistance in facilitating the negotiations between U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis, thereby narrowly averting the possibility of a major global catastrophe.