Former Prime Minister and Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Edward Seaga celebrates his 88th birthday today, May 28
In acknowledging Mr Seaga’s birthday, Jamaica Today presents a few interesting tidbits about the man, his mission and his achievements.
- Edward Phillip George Seaga was born on May 28, 1930 in Boston, Massachusetts to parents Phillip George and Erna Seaga. The family returned to Jamaica when the child turned three months.
- He was a student at the Wolmer’s High School for boys, Kingston and furthered his education at Harvard University in 1952 – receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences.
- After taking up a research post at the University of the West Indies, Seaga became heavily invested in popular Jamaican music. He set up West India Records Limited (WIRL) in the late 1950s. After moving to West Kingston, he later sold WIRL to Byron Lee in 1968.
- His political career began in 1959 when he was just 29-years-old, after he was nominated to represent the Sir Alexander Bustamante-led JLP in the Upper House. His appointment made him the youngest member to Jamaica’s legislative council (now the Senate).
- Edward Seaga became the island’s fifth Prime Minister following the October 30 General Elections in 1980, when the JLP won a landslide victory against the People’s National Party (PNP).
- Seaga was instrumental in the drafting of the Jamaican constitution in 1961, and upon becoming Prime Minister, he initiated a re-write of the human rights section to provide for a Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms – and created the post of the Public Defender.
- Seaga has the longest period of continuous service of any elected official in the Caribbean region, having retired after serving 43 years as Member of Parliament for West Kingston – a seat he never lost in his political career.
- He’s been awarded several accolades over his long career, including ‘Man of the Year’ by Fortune Magazine in 1980; Order of the Nation by the Jamaican Government in 2002; Grand Collar de Libertador by Venezuela in 1981; and the Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award in 1984.
Happy birthday, Mr. Seaga.