Janet Rosalie <I>Rosenberg</I> Jagan

Janet Rosalie Rosenberg Jagan

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 28 Mar 2009 (aged 88)
Georgetown, Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana
Burial Port Mourant, East Berbice-Corentyne, Guyana
Memorial ID 35296434 · View Source
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Pioneer Stateswoman. She was the first female Prime Minister and President of Guyana. Raised in Hyde Park, Illinois, she was a nursing student at Cook County Hospital in Chicago when she met Cheddi Jagan, a dental student from British Guyana, whose parents had immigrated there from India. In the face of opposition from her Jewish, and his Hindu, relatives, the couple married on August 5, 1943, and moved to British Guyana in December of that year. Mrs. Jagan worked as a nurse in her husband's dental office for 10 years; in 1946, she founded the Women's Welfare, Political, and Economic Organization, and on January 1, 1950, the Jagans jointly founded the left-leaning People's Progressive Party (PPP). She was to serve as Party General Secretary from 1950 until 1970, and editor of its newspaper, the "Mirror", from 1973 to 1997. Mrs. Jagan was elected to the House of Assembly in 1953 as part of a PPP general election victory; the British removed the government in 1954, and the Jagans were jailed for five months. She was re-elected to Parliament (and became Minister of Labour) in 1957, and was eventually to be its longest serving member. The Jagans were Marxist, but still endorsed the privatization, and other free-market reforms, that accelerated after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mrs. Jagan became First Lady with her husband's election as President in 1992, and, in 1993, was briefly Guyana's delegate to the United Nations. When Dr. Jagan was dying in 1997, he told his wife to "carry on"; she was sworn in as Prime Minister, and subsequently elected President, the second female President in South America (after Isabel Peron), and the first democratically elected. Her tenure in office was marred by protest, and strife between the ruling Hindu minority and the Black majority; she retired in 1999 due to heart disease. In 1997, she was awarded the Ghandi Gold Medal for Peace, Democracy, and Women's Rights by UNESCO. Over the years, she wrote and published a number of children's books, and volumes of poetry. Of her work and philosophy she said: "I like to see things done. I don't shove off problems".

Bio by: Bob Hufford

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 28 Mar 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 35296434
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Janet Rosalie Rosenberg Jagan (20 Oct 1920–28 Mar 2009), Find a Grave Memorial no. 35296434, citing Babu John Cemetery, Port Mourant, East Berbice-Corentyne, Guyana ; Maintained by Find A Grave .