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Dr. Cheddie Jagan: March 22, 1918 - March 06, 1997

Dr. Cheddie Jagan

Dr Cheddie Jagan, President 1992 - March 06, 1997 – Cheddi Bharat Jagan was born on March 22, 1918 on the sugar plantation of Port Mourant, Berbice, in British Guiana where his father was as a foreman of a work crew.

He attended Queens College in the city of Georgetown and in September 1935, he left for the United States where he completed pre-dental studies at Howard University.

In 1938, he entered Northwestern University and embarked on a four-year dental program from which he graduated in 1942 with a DDS and a B.Sc..

On August 5, 1943 he married a student nurse, Janet Rosenberg before returning to Guyana in October that year. In December of 1943, Dr. Jagan started his dental practice with the help of his wife, as dental assistant, his brother, as laboratory assistant, and a cousin. In 1947 Dr. Jagan formally entered the political arena with his election to the assembly. Three years later, in 1950, he created the People's Progressive Party (PPP) and in 1953, the PPP won the first elections held under universal suffrage; however, Britain suspended the constitution, citing the PPP's pro-communist stance. The British sent troops and warships to keep the peace.

In 1955 Dr. Jagan was imprisoned for breaking the law and upon his release was re-elected leader of the People's Progressive Party. Between 1953 and 1957, there was a split in the PPP ranks, with Dr. Jagan as leader of the PPP and Mr. Forbes Burnham as leader forming a new party named the Peoples National Congress PNC The PPP won the 1957 and 1961 elections.

Following the 1964 election, which was held under the system of proportional representation, the government was formed by a coalition comprising the PNC, led by Burnham and the United Force (UF), led by businessman, Peter DAguiar.

For the next 28 years Dr. Jagan and the PPP remained in opposition. Dr. Jagan became president of Guyana after the PPP won the 1992 elections until his death on March 06, 1997. Dr. Cheddi Jagan was the author of two books, Forbidden Freedom (1954) and The West on Trial (1966).




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