Pindling, Lynden Oscar (1930–2000)

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Pindling, Lynden Oscar (1930–2000)

Lynden Oscar Pindling, a Bahamian political leader, was born on March 22, 1930, to educated and deeply religious working-class parents in Nassau. After graduating from high school in 1946, he worked as a clerk in Nassau's Post Office Savings Bank. In 1952 he received a law degree from King's College, University of London. Upon returning to the Bahamas he combined his legal practice with active political involvement in the black-based Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). The party had been unsuccessful in displacing the white commercial elite that dominated politics in colonial Bahamas. This changed in 1967 when Pindling led the PLP to a slim electoral victory and became the first black prime minister of the island. His victories after that (in 1968, 1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987) were all by solid majorities. Pindling led the nation to independence from Great Britain in 1973, and in 1983 was knighted by the Queen and made a Privy Councilor. None of the many accusations against him of corruption and receiving monies from drug dealers dulled his popular luster or reputation. His promotion of foreign investments in tourism (such as Paradise Island), offshore banking, and other financial services created jobs and an upwardly mobile black middle class. By the late-1980s several major banking scandals led to a souring of the popular mood, and the PLP lost the 1992 elections. Pindling did win his constituency seat but was now in the opposition. In 1997 he retired from politics. Upon his death on August 26, 2000, he was buried with all honors. Many Bahamians still revere him as "the Father of the Bahamas."

See alsoBahamas, Commonwealth of the .


Craton, Michael. A History of the Bahamas, 3rd edition. Waterloo, ON, Canada: San Salvador Press, 1986.

                           Anthony P. Maingot