Micheal Manley


Jamaican Government Officials

Date of Birth (DOB): 12/10/1924
Died: 3/6/97
From: Jamaica
Best Known for: Prime Minister of Jamaica, Under heavy Manners.

Bio: Micheal Manley was a popular leader--nicknamed "Joshua" for the biblical prophet--who served three terms (1972-80 and 1989-92) as prime minister and was a powerful champion of Third World issues. Though he initially espoused hard-line socialism and defied U.S. policy, especially toward Cuba, in later years he embraced a capitalistic outlook and sought close relations with the U.S. Manley was the son of the noted sculptor Edna Swithenbank Manley and Norman Manley, a national hero, the founder of the People's National Party (PNP), and Jamaica's prime minister from 1959 to 1962. He was educated at Jamaica College and, following service in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, at the London School of Economics, where he came under the influence of the socialist Harold Laski. After working as a freelance journalist in London, Manley returned (1951) to Jamaica and went to work for Public Opinion, a leftist weekly newspaper. He soon became active in the trade-union movement, attaining positions of union leadership and gaining recognition as a skilled negotiator. In 1962 he was appointed to Jamaica's Senate, and in 1967 he was elected to the House of Representatives. Two years later Manley succeeded his father as president of the PNP, and when the party won the election of 1972, he became prime minister. He set about instituting policies for redistributing wealth and became a champion of the less-developed nations' nonaligned movement. In 1973 he was one of the founders of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom), and he cultivated close relationships with Cuba and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe and the Far East. Though Manley was reelected in 1976, his policies eventually proved to be financially disastrous. He lost the 1980 election to the conservative Edward Seaga. In 1989, however, having adopted a moderate outlook, Manley was returned to the prime ministership In 1992 ill health force Manley to resign.

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