He was the second leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), a position he held from 1979 until 2001. He has served as a Member of the European Parliament and a Member of Parliament for Foyle, as well as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
He is regarded as one of the most important figures in the modern political history of Northern Ireland and one of the architects of the Northern Ireland peace process there. He is also a recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Martin Luther King Award, the only recipient of the three major peace awards.
- "The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 1998 to John Hume and David Trimble for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland." 
- Advisory Council, Points of Peace Foundation
- Winner of the 1996 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute: Four Freedoms Award
- Former Patron, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
- Honorary 25th Anniversary Committee, Global Rights
- European Parliament, MEP Directory: John Hume, accessed 19 November 2010.
- Nobel Prize, The Nobel Peace Prize 1998, accessed 19 November 2010.