Born in Dublin, he served as Foreign Affairs minister (1973-77) and was the leader of Fine Gael (1977-87). He was Taoiseach twice, from July 1981 to February 1982, and from December 1982 to March 1987.
FitzGerald was instrumental in securing the Anglo-Irish Agreement of November 1985, which provided for a mechanism by which the Republic of Ireland could be consulted by the British Government under Margaret Thatcher regarding the governance of Northern Ireland.
He wrote an autobiography, 'All in a Life' (1991) and a weekly column in 'The Irish Times'. He also lectured widely in politics and economics, retiring from politics in 1992.