Skip to Main Content


(British Caribbean & St Peter's 1968) (10 January 1945 - 11 February 2021)

Ambassador W. Richard Jacobs, who contributed to significant social change in the Caribbean and Africa, died in Kingston, Jamaica on February 11, 2021. He was the first person of colour to attend the Collegiate School for Boys in Manhattan, the oldest educational institution in the United States. He excelled there as a student, actor and athlete. He served as captain of the basketball team and co-captain of the football team.

He attended Colby College in Maine for his freshman year, then transferred to warmer climes at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica in 1963. There, he excelled in both scholarship and student leadership and was elected in 1966 as President of the Guild of Undergraduates. In 1968 he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and went on to attend Oxford University in the United Kingdom (UK). While there, he married June Powell of Mandeville, Jamaica. They had two daughters, Olayinka and Nasolo.

As part of his Rhodes Scholarship studies, Ambassador Jacobs went to Zambia, where he conducted research on the trade union movement in Africa. He returned to Trinidad-Tobago in the mid-seventies, where he lectured for 10 years at UWI, St. Augustine. Ambassador Jacobs compiled an extensive body of scholarship throughout his life. He was the author of numerous books and articles addressing social and political issues in the Caribbean and Africa.