The media industry lost a true, genuine legend after it was announced that media mogul, The Honorary Oliver Frederick Clarke OJ, Hon. LL.D, JP, FCA, B.Sc. (Econ), had passed away after succumbing to a lengthy battle against cancer.
A former chair of the RJRGLEANER Group, he was a shining light in a group which included the Jamaica National Group and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.,, just a month before his passing.
Born and educated in the Jamaican capital of Kingston, he was chair of 1834 Investments – an investment spin-off of The Gleaner Company Limited, which would merge with the RJR Group.
The son of a farmer and businessperson, Clarke was also educated at the London School of Economics before joining The Gleaner Group in 1976 before being appointed chair of JNBS in 1977. He was chair until 1997 before serving as deputy chair until 2002.
As a professional chartered accountant, he would serve the group for 40 years.
He would then be appointed as chair of the subsidiary JN Bank, as well as mutual holiday company, The Jamaica National Group and JN Financial Holding Company.
Described as a unique human being, Clarke was also appointed as chair of the 2003 Parliamentary Salaries Review Committee by Jamaica Prime Minister, PJ Patterson, which recommended the construction of a new parliament building, constituency office and radical changes to compensation packages for lawmakers.
A proud Jamaican with an aura of true respect and compassion, Oliver F Clarke OJ received an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology and the Jamaica and the Northern Caribbean University.
His achievements and influence will remain evident in Jamaica, and across the wider Caribbean, for years to come.
Married, he leaves a widow, Monica and daughter, Maria Alexandra.
He died at his St. Andrews home age 75.