|Birth Day:||November 29, 1895|
|Death Date:||Jul 23, 1971 (age 75)|
|Birth Place:||Harper, Liberia|
As per our current Database, William Tubman died on Jul 23, 1971 (age 75).
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He began a career in politics and became a Senator after being named, at age 19, a Methodist lay pastor.
William Tubman, the second son, went to primary school in Harper, followed by the Methodist Cape Palmas Seminary, and Harper County High School. Beginning at age 15 in 1910, he participated in several military operations within the country through 1917, being promoted from private to officer.
Planning to become a preacher, at age 19 Tubman was named as a Methodist lay preacher. After studying law under various private tutors, he passed the bar examination and became a lawyer in 1917.
Having joined the True Whig Party (TWP), the dominant party of Liberia since 1878, Tubman began his career in politics. In 1923, aged 28, he was elected to the Senate of Liberia from Maryland County, holding the record as the youngest senator in the history of Liberia. Identifying as the "Convivial Cannibal from the Downcoast Hinterlands," he fought for constitutional rights for the members of indigenous tribal groups, who comprised the overwhelming number of Liberians.
Re-elected as senator in 1929, Tubman became the legal adviser to vice president Allen Yancy. He resigned from the Senate in 1931 to defend Liberia before the League of Nations amid allegations that his country was using slave labor. Tubman was reelected to the national legislature in 1934; he resigned in 1937 after being appointed by President Edwin Barclay as associate justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, where he served until 1943. An official biography speculates that Barclay appointed Tubman to the Liberian Supreme Court to remove him as a competitor for the presidency.
In December 1942, Liberia had to elect a successor to President Edwin Barclay. Six candidates ran for office; the two favorites were Tubman and Foreign Minister Clarence L. Simpson. Tubman was elected president on May 4, 1943, at the age of 48, and was inaugurated January 3, 1944.
While the United States, its ally, began to base military operations in the country after it entered World War II, Liberia did not declare war on Germany and Japan until January 27, 1944. In April 1944, Liberia signed the Declaration by United Nations.
In foreign policy, Tubman aligned his country with the US, which he hailed as "Our strongest, closest, and most reliable friend." In June 1944, he and former president, Edwin Barclay, traveled to the White House as guests of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and became the first African heads of state to be received there. Following the war, which resulted in an anti-colonial movement on the African continent, Tubman strengthened ties among fellow Africans by participating in the Asian-African Conference of 1955, and the First Conference of Independent African States in Accra, organized in 1958 by Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. In 1959, Tubman organized the Second Conference of African States.
With the expansion of the economy, Tubman gained revenues for the government to construct and modernize infrastructure: the streets of Monrovia were paved, a public sanitation system was installed, hospitals were built, and a literacy program was launched in 1948. During Tubman's administration, several thousand kilometers of roads were built, as was a railway line to connect the iron mines to the coast for transport of this commodity for export. During this period, he transformed the Port of Monrovia into a free port to encourage trade.
After a gunman attempted to assassinate Tubman in 1955, he brutally repressed the political opposition. This so-called assassination attempt was widely believed to have been staged by Tubman in order to go after his political enemies, including the Coleman family. His administration was considered increasingly authoritarian. The nation's constitution did not have term limits, and Tubman did not volunteer to leave office. He controlled the dominant political party and had created a wide network of obligations through patronage appointments.
By early 1960, Liberia began to enjoy its first era of prosperity, thanks in part to Tubman's policies and implementation of development. It was during this time that Tubman became regarded as a pro-Western, stabilizing influence in West Africa, at a period when other countries were achieving independence—often amid violence. During the 1960s, Tubman was courted by many Western politicians, notably U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.
In 1961, following a Pan-African conference held in Monrovia, Tubman helped to found the African Union. This association of "moderate" African leaders worked for gradual unification of Africa, unlike the "revolutionary" group based at Casablanca.
In the past, the bulk of Liberia’s production depended on rubber. But with the modernization of the state’s infrastructure at the hands of Tubman, Liberia started to use its other national resources. Several Americo-Liberian nationalities, German, and Swedish companies became involved in the exploitation of iron mines—making Liberia the first source of iron in Africa, and the fourth worldwide. Tubman wanted to diversify the economy, rather than basing it on rubber and iron resources, which made up 90% of the country’s exports. He encouraged the development of coffee plantations, palm oil, sugar cane, and especially rice cultivation in 1966 (with the help of Taiwan).
During the 1950s, Liberia had the second-highest rate of economic growth in the world. By the time of his death in 1971, Liberia had the largest mercantile fleet in the world, the world's largest rubber industry, was the third-largest exporter of iron ore in the world, and had attracted more than US$1 billion in foreign investment.
Tubman died at a clinic in London, following post-operative complications from prostate gland surgery at the age of 75. He was succeeded by his long-time vice president, William Tolbert. Political dissent increased following Tubman's autocratic rule, and new groups wanted a share of the nation's success. The dominance of the True Whig Party was overthrown in 1980 by the People's Redemption Council, a group of soldiers led by Samuel Doe. The ensuing civil wars and violence destroyed the economic prosperity of Liberia's golden age.
Currently, William Tubman is 126 years, 10 months and 7 days old. William Tubman will celebrate 127th birthday on a Tuesday 29th of November 2022.
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