Cornelius Oswald Fudge, also known as "Goblin Crusher" according to the Daily Prophet, the wizarding world's newspaper in the United Kingdom, was the Minister of Magic in the Harry Potter series. He is mentioned in the first book but makes his first actual appearance in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
At first he seems to be a kind old gent, upset that he has to take Hagrid to Azkaban Prison, but eventually it becomes clear that he is a politician who is focused on self-interest. In the next book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, he appears to be genuinely concerned for Harry's well being, letting him off the hook for using magic outside of school. Things take a nasty turn in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry witnesses the return of Voldemort.
Cornelius absolutely refuses to admit that He Who Must Not Be Named is back, going so far as to smear Harry and Dumbledore's character through a series of brutal false stories published in the Daily Prophet. He then begins to interfere in how Hogwarts is managed all through the following tome, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, until Voldemort is revealed to all at the end. Disgraced and shown to be incompetent, he is removed from his post as Minister of Magic. He does make a final appearance at Dumbledore's funeral but is not mentioned again in the books.
In the movie version of the Harry Potter series, Cornelius Fudge is played by the actor Robert Hardy.
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