Hugh Lawson Shearer

By: Cerone White

On this day in Caribbean history,  July 5, 2004 Hugh Lawson Shearer, Jamaica’s third Prime Minister died. Shearer was born in Matha Brae, Trelawny, attended St Simon’s College, and graduated from Howard University School of Law. Throughout his lifetime, he married twice and bore one son and two daughters. Shearer was Jamaica’s third Prime Minister from April 11, 1967 to  March 2 1972. He was preceded by Sir Donald Sangster, and Michael Manley. Shearer was employed at the weekly trade Union newspaper, the Jamaican Worker, while there he was taken under the leadership Sir Alexander Bustamante, founder of the Jamaican Labor Party (JLP).

Shearer was voted to the House of Representatives of Jamaica as a member for Western Kingston in 1955, there he served in that position for four years until beaten in the 1959 election. Throughout life, Shearer was generally well liked, however, in 1968 when the Jamaican government forbid the historian Walter Rodney from re-entering Jamaica,  Shearer stood by the governments rule banning Rodney who Shearer believed to be a danger to Jamaica, citing his socialist ties, trips to Cuba and the USSR, as well as his radical Black nationalism.

Shearer died at the age 81 and is survived by his wife, the Most Hon. Dr. Denise Eldemire Shearer, sons Corey Alexander, Howard, Lance and Donald, and daughters Hope, Hilary, Heather, Mischka Garel, and Ana Margaret Sanchez.


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