Dominic Mintoff, 1916–2012, Maltese political leader, prime minister of Malta (1955–58, 1971–84). An architect and engineer, he was educated at the Univ. of Malta and Oxford. He joined the Labor party in 1943 and was first elected to the legislature in 1947. Appointed deputy prime minister and minister of public works, he oversaw the rebuilding that followed the heavy bombing during World War II. Mintoff served as Labor's leader from 1949 to 1984, remaining in the legislature until 1998. Following Malta's independence from Britain in 1964, he campaigned for ridding the country of British influence, leading to Malta's becoming a republic (1974) and the closure of British bases (1979).