Marcus Garvey III, the eldest son of iconic nationalist and Jamaica’s first national hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey, passed away on Tuesday in Wellington, Florida, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 90.
A seasoned electrical engineer, physicist, mathematician as well as activist, Garvey III was born in St Andrew, Jamaica. He, however, constantly toured and delivered lectures in the Caribbean, North America, Europe, and Africa, according to The Gleaner.
Garvey III also emulated his father as he served as the president general of the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) – an organization the latter founded about a century ago.
“The departure of Marcus Jr, whom I had been married to for over 30 years, will leave a void that cannot be filled, and he will be greatly missed by numerous family, friends, and colleagues from all over the world, in many places where he had left indelible footprints,” the deceased’s wife, Jean Garvey, said.
Upon its establishment, the UNIA, whose aim was to unite the global African diaspora in a repatriation effort, amassed several members. At a certain point, the organization had over 700 chapters in the United States and several others in countries including Cuba, Panama, Mexico, South Africa and Ghana, The Sun Sentinel reported.
Though Garvey III tried to revive the organization and bring it back to its former glory days when it was under his father’s charismatic leadership, he was unsuccessful. “I think that Marcus Jr. did what he could to maintain the organization,” Dale Holness, a Broward County commissioner and Jamaican-American, told the news outlet.
Garvey III is survived by his widow, his brother Dr Julius Garvey, sons Colin and Kyle-Sekou, stepdaughter Michelle Morris, and four grandchildren.
Funeral plans are yet to be announced.