Peer, self-demoter, Post Master General, Energy Secretary, would-be party leader and Prime Minster, he was, above all that, a friend.
Our Political Correspondent Bob Constantine remembers some of his meetings with Tony Benn over the years
By any standards Tony Benn's was a rich and fascinating life - born into a political family he met Gandhi and Lloyd George before his teens.
The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, today paid tribute for former Bristol MP, Tony Benn who died on Friday, describing him as a man of "passion and compassion".
He also announced that the Prime Minister and the Labour leader will pay their tributes on Wednesday, and other MPs on Thursday.
Civil rights campaigner Paul Stephenson, who led the Bristol bus boycott in 1963 has paid tribute to Tony Benn.
The MP had supported the boycott which was a protest at the Bristol Omnibus company's refusal to employ a black driver.
The event was instrumental in creating the Race Relations Act two years later, today Tony Benn's help was said to be crucial.
Bristol South MP Dawn Primarolo has paid tribute to Tony Benn who has died aged 88. She was his assistant during his time as MP for Bristol South East. After laying flowers at Tony Benn's bust at City Hall in Bristol, she spoke to ITV West Country's Bob Constantine
When Harold Wilson was elected, Tony Benn was promoted to the front bench but he later felt disillusioned with Mr Wilson's style of politics.
ITV West Country's Political Correspondent Bob Constantine looks back at Tony Benn's career.
Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn died this morning at his home in west London surrounded by family members.
In a statement his children Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua said:
– The Benn Family
It is with great sadness that we announce that our father Tony Benn died peacefully early this morning at his home in west London surrounded by his family.
We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff and carers who have looked after him with such kindness in hospital and at home.
– The Benn family statement
We will miss above all his love which has sustained us throughout our lives. But we are comforted by the memory of his long, full and inspiring life and so proud of his devotion to helping others as he sought to change the world for the better.
Arrangements for his funeral will be announced in due course.
RIP Tony Benn, Bristol MP. words cannot do this great man justice. A true inspiration and will be sorely missed