The Miami Herald
Tue, Jul. 06, 2004

Hugh Shearer, ex-leader, dies

KINGSTON, Jamaica - (AP) -- Hugh Shearer, a prime minister in the early stages of Jamaica's independence, died Monday. He was 81.

Shearer, prime minister from 1967 to 1972, died at his Kingston home, his family said. The cause of death was not announced.

Shearer succeeded Donald Sangster, who died in office, to become prime minister five years after Jamaica gained independence from Britain.

''His death has deprived Jamaica of a quintessential nationalist and a dedicated political leader,'' said Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.

Many credited him with overseeing one of Jamaica's most stable economic periods and with building dozens of primary schools. The economy grew at an average of 6 percent during his time in office compared to 2.1 percent in 2003.