Hero Profile – Sir Alexander Bustamante

Sir William Alexander Clarke Bustamante, Jamaica’s first Prime Minister after the country gained independence in 1962, was born on February 24, 1884.

In 1943 he founded the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), with himself as head. The first general election under Universal Adult Suffrage came in 1944 and the JLP won 22 of the 32 seats.

Bustamante travelled the world; working as a policeman in Cuba, and as a dietician in a New York City hospital. He returned to Jamaica in 1932, and became a leader of the struggle against colonial rule. He came to the public’s attention as a writer of letters to the Daily Gleaner newspaper.

Read more about Jamaica’s first Prime Minister here.

See a slideshow of Bustamante and his cousin, fellow National Hero Norman Manley here.