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Harold St. John, 72; Barbados Leader Pushed Country's Political, Economic Development

March 02, 2004|From Associated Press

Sir Harold St. John, a former prime minister of Barbados who was deeply committed to Caribbean integration, died Sunday at a Bridgetown hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 72.

St. John is credited with advancing Barbados' political and economic development.

"He was a man of total integrity and impeccable character," said Barbados Sen. Allan Fields, who described St. John as a "stalwart Barbadian who gave unstintingly of his service."

Born in Christ Church, Barbados, St. John received a law degree from London University in 1953, and later practiced in Barbados, Trinidad and throughout the eastern Caribbean.

In 1964, he was appointed to the Barbados Senate, serving two years before being elected to Parliament. He went on to hold several Cabinet positions, including deputy prime minister, minister of trade and industry, and minister of tourism.

In 1985, St. John became prime minister after the death of his predecessor, Tom Adams, only to lose the government a year later in the general elections.

In 1991, his party was reelected, and St. John served as deputy prime minister until 1999.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

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