Politician. Barbadian and British West Indian statesman, one of Barbados' National Heroes. He was born at Colliston, Government Hill, St Michael, on 28 April 1898. He was the third child of seven born to FitzHerbert Adams and the former Rosa Frances Turney. He was educated at St Giles School and at Harrison College in Barbados. In 1918 he won the Barbados Scholarship and departed the following year for his undergraduate studies at Oxford University, where he studied classics and jurisprudence. He was admitted to the Bar at Grey's Inn and functioned as a Counsel of Her Majesty, the Queen of England. In 1925 he returned to Barbados to practice law and begin a lifelong career in politics. He married Grace Thorne in 1929 at St John's Parish Church. Their only child, Tom, himself also won the Barbados Scholarship, and like his father, attended Oxford to become a lawyer. Tom Adams would later be elected as Barbados' second Prime Minister in 1976. After founding the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in 1938, then known as the Barbados Progressive League, he was president of the Barbados Workers' Union (BWU) from 1941 to 1954. While being a staunch supporter of the monarchy, he and his party also demanded more rights for the poor and for the people. Progress toward a more democratic government in Barbados was made in 1942, when the exclusive income qualification was lowered and women were given the right to vote. By 1949 governmental control was wrested from the planters. He became the Prime Minister of the West Indies Federation, defeating Ashford Sinanan by two votes. (Sinanan went on to serve as Leader of the Opposition of Trinidad's Democratic Labour Party.) He served in this role from 1958 to 1962; Barbados was one of the ten provinces of the West Indies Federation, an organisation doomed by nationalistic attitudes and by the fact that its members, as British colonies, held limited legislative power. As Premier of Barbados, his leadership failed in attempts to form unions such as the BWU, and his continued defense of the monarchy, were used by his opponents as evidence that he was no longer in touch with the needs of his country. Errol Walton Barrow, a fervent reformer, became the new people's advocate. Barrow had left the BLP and formed the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) as a liberal alternative to his conservative government. Barrow instituted many progressive social programmes, including free education for all Barbadians, and the School Meals system. By 1961, Barrow had replaced him as Premier and the DLP controlled the government. In recognition of his meritorious contribution to Barbados and the wider Caribbean region, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of England, knighted him in 1957. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital stands today as a monumental reminder of the signal contributions of a leader who was dedicated and committed to ensuring the wellbeing of his people and creating for them, better social and living conditions. The $100 bank note, which is the island's largest value of currency, carries the former Prime Minister's portrait and a statue in his honour is located in front of Government Headquarters at Bay Street, St Michael. Sir Grantley Adams International Airport, formerly Seawell Airport, located in Christ Church, Barbados, was named after him in 1976. Sir Grantley, as he was popularly known, died at the age of 73. He was buried in Bridgetown, at the churchyard of the Anglican Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and All Angels on Saint Michael's Row.
Bio by: ohSunnyOne