John Hume is married to Pat and they have three daughters and two sons.

He was a leader of the non-violent Civil Rights Movement in 1968 to 1969 having established a record of community leadership through his founding role in Derry Credit Union, Derry Housing Association and his organisation of the "University for Derry" campaign. He was elected an Independent to the Stormont Parliament in February 1969 for the Foyle Constituency. 

His manifesto committed him to forming a political party on the European social democratic model. He did this with five other Stormont MPs and one Senator in August 1970. From its formation until 1979 he was the SDLP's Deputy Leader and was Leader from 1979 to 2001.

John's elective career has included membership of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1973 to 1974, the Constitutional Convention in 1975, election to the European Parliament in 1979 to 2004.  First elected to Westminster 1983.

"This to me is the enduring legacy of Hans Christian Andersen. The seeking out of knowledge - education - is absolutely central both to the development of individuals and communities and to the fulfilment of life's wonderful possibilities. I passionately believe that education is vital to improving people's lives, especially those suffering through poverty or oppression. The only real wealth in the world is people, and if they are uneducated then their development is hindered," says John Hume.

A key advocate of partnership, he played a major role in negotiating the Sunningdale Agreement. In the resulting Power-Sharing Executive of 1974, he served as Minister of Commerce.

In the period 1977 to 1979, John served as a Special Adviser to EC Commissioner Richard Burke.

As MEP John sat on the Front Bench of the Socialist Group which is the largest Group in the European Parliament. John has served on the Committee for Regional Planning and Regional Policy since 1979 to 2004. He wrote the report on Regional Problems of Ireland (1987).

John Hume was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace (with David Trimble) in 1998 for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.