Friday, September 29, 2017

Rose Agatha Leon (20 October 1913 â€" 16 August 1999) was a Jamaican businesswoman and politician. In August 1999, she was murdered in her home.


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In 1948, she became the first woman to chair a national political party, the Jamaica Labour Party, holding that position for 12 years.In 1949, she was elected into the house of representatives, and in 1953 was appointed minister of health and social welfare. In 1960 she left the JLP due to its lack of support for the Federation of the West Indies. Soon after, she switched sides and joined the People's National Party, returning to prominence in the late 1960s as a local councillor, and in 1971 as deputy mayor of Kingston. From 1972-76 she was Minister of Local Government in the Manley government.

Cosmetics business

Having returned to Jamaica from studying chemistry in the US, she founded the Leon School of Beauty Culture with her husband. She pioneered a line of locally-made beauty products, providing an alternative to imports. Right up until her death, Leon taught at the school.


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