Jenkins, Roy (Harris) 1920-2003
JENKINS, Roy (Harris) 1920-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 11, 1920, in Abersychan (some sources cite Pontypool), Monmouthshire (now Gwent), Wales; died January 5, 2003, in Oxfordshire, England. Politician, historian, and author. Jenkins was elected a liberal member of the British House of Commons in 1948.
He remained in office until 1976, serving with distinction as home secretary and chancellor of the exchequer, and also acting as deputy director of the Labour Party. In 1977 Jenkins represented England as the first and only British president of the European Commission in Belgium. Though the Labour government was reluctant to join what was then called the European Economic Community, Jenkins himself was a strong supporter of closer cooperation between England and the rest of Western Europe. He returned to England in 1982 and, disenchanted by his party's attitude toward European community, among other issues, became a founder of the Social Democratic Party which later, through a merger, became the Liberal Democrats. He served in the House of Commons again from 1982 until 1987. In that year he was created a life peer by Queen Elizabeth II and entered the House of Lords as Lord Jenkins of Hillhead. In the House of Lords and in retirement, Jenkins concentrated more intently on his writing career, which he had pursued sporadically since 1948. Among several well-received biographies were the Whitbread Award-winning Gladstone: A Biography and the bestselling Churchill: A Biography, the latter published when its author was eighty years old. His final publication was The British Liberal Tradition: From Gladstone to Young Churchill, Asquith, and Lloyd George—Is Blair the Heir? Among Jenkins' many honors over a long and distinguished career, he was awarded the prestigious British Order of Merit in 1993.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Jenkins, Roy, A Life at the Center: Memoirs of a Radical Reformer, Random House (New York, NY), 1997.
Chicago Tribune, January 6, 2003, pp. 1-10.
Los Angeles Times, January 6, 2003, obituary by William Wallace, p. B9.
New York Times, January 6, 2003, obituary by Paul Lewis, p. A21.
Times (London, England), January 6, 2003, p. 7.
Washington Post, January 6, 2003, obituary by Richard Pearson, p. 35.