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Bob Cooper (politician)

Sir Robert George Cooper CBE (1936 – 15 November 2004), popularly known as Sir Bob Cooper, was a politician and equal opportunities activist in Northern Ireland.

Born and raised in County Donegal in Ireland, Cooper, a Presbyterian, attended Foyle College and then studied law at The Queen's University of Belfast, where he was the Chair of the Young Unionists. Despite his Protestant Unionist background, Cooper married a Catholic.

In 1970, Cooper became a founder member of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, and at the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1973, he was elected for West Belfast. Soon after, he became deputy leader of the party, and in 1975 he was elected to the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention.

In 1976, Cooper left politics to take up an appointment as head of the Fair Employment Agency. In 1990, this became the Fair Employment Commission, and he continued in the post until 1999. He then headed the Integrated Education Fund until shortly before his death.

Cooper was knighted in 1998. His wife was Lady Pat Cooper.


  • "Belfast Telegraph
  • Ford pays tribute to Bob Cooper, founding Alliance member
Party political offices
Preceded by
New position
Joint Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
with Oliver Napier

Succeeded by
Phelim O'Neill (acting)
Preceded by
Grace Wilson (acting)
General Secretary of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
John Cushnahan?
Preceded by
New position
Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Basil Glass
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