Shearer, Hugh Lawson

Shearer, Hugh Lawson,

1923–2004, Jamaican trade unionist and political leader, prime minister (1967–1972). At 17 he started at the Jamaican Worker newspaper, which was associated with the Bustamente Industrial Trade Union (BITU), the country's largest trade union, named for Alexander BustamanteBustamante, Sir Alexander
, 1884–1977, prime minister of Jamaica (1962–67). Born William Alexander Clarke, the son of an Irish father and a Jamaican mother, he was adopted and taken to Spain as a child.
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. Bustamante became Shearer's mentor, and by 1947 he was BITU's assistant general secretary. A member of the Jamaican Labour Party (JLP), Shearer was in the colonial house of representatives from 1955 to 1959. In 1960 he was elected BITU's vice president. After independence (1962), Shearer was appointed to the senate, and in 1967 he was elected to parliament, where he served until 1993. He succeeded Sir Donald Sangster, who died in office in 1967, as prime minister; he also succeeded Bustamente as head of the JLP. Jamaica's economy grew and many schools were built during his term in office. He lost the 1972 elections to Michael ManleyManley, Michael Norman,
1924–97, prime minister of Jamaica (1972–80, 1989–92); son of Norman Manley. A leader of the socialist People's National party, he was first elected to parliament in 1967.
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, but he remained active in politics, serving as foreign minister (1980–86) under Edward SeagaSeaga, Edward
, 1930–, prime minister of Jamaica (1980–89). Born in Boston, Mass., to Jamaican parents of Lebanese and Scottish descent, he was a record producer before entering politics.
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, who had succeeded (1974) Shearer as JLP leader. He also continued his association with BITU, serving as president from 1977 (except for the years when he was foreign minister), and served as president of the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions from 1994.