George Maxwell Richards

George Maxwell Richards

Professor George Maxwell Richards 1 (cropped 2).jpg
George Maxwell Richards in 2010
4th President of Trinidad and Tobago
In office
17 March 2003 – 18 March 2013
Prime Minister
Preceded byArthur Robinson
Succeeded byAnthony Carmona
Personal details
George Maxwell Richards

(1931-12-01)1 December 1931
San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
Died8 January 2018(2018-01-08) (aged 86)
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Cause of deathHeart failure
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Jean Ramjohn
Alma mater

HE George Maxwell Richards, TC, CM (1 December 1931 – 8 January 2018), was a Trinidadian and Tobagonian politician who served as the fourth President of Trinidad and Tobago, in office from 2003 to 2013. He was the first President of Trinidad and Tobago and head of state in the Anglophone Caribbean to have Amerindian ancestry.[1]

A chemical engineer by training, Richards was Principal of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad from 1984 to 1996. He previously worked for Shell Trinidad Ltd before joining the University of the West Indies in 1965. He was sworn into office as President on 17 March 2003 for a five-year term.

Early life and education

Richards was born at his family's home in San Fernando in South Trinidad in 1931 as one of five children in the family.[2] He was of Amerindian and Chinese descent.[3] His father, George Richards, was a barrister while his mother, Henrietta Martin was a housewife and teacher.[2] He received his primary education there before winning an exhibition (scholarship) to attend Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain.[2] From May 1950 to September 1951, he worked for the United British Oilfields of Trinidad (precursor to Shell Trinidad Ltd.) at Point Fortin.[4][5] He received a scholarship from them to study chemical engineering.[6]

Richards then attended the University of Manchester (UMIST), where he took a BEng degree (1955) and an MEng degree (1957).[7] He subsequently obtained a PhD degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge (Pembroke).[2]

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