Sir Brian Urquhart was one of the first United Nations civil servants. A member of the UN Secretariat from 1945 until his retirement in 1986, he worked closely with Ralph Bunche and the first five Secretaries-General on peace and security matters, especially peacekeeping. In 1972, he succeeded Ralph Bunche as Under Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs. His books include Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey, the biography on which the film is based.

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