Ian Smith

Ian Smith

Ian Douglas Smith, GCLM, ID (8 April 1919 – 20 November 2007) was a politician active in the governments of Southern Rhodesia, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe-Rhodesia and Zimbabwe from 1948 to 1987, most notably serving as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 13 April 1964 to 1 June 1979. Born and raised in Selukwe, a small rural town in the British self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia, Smith served in the Southern Rhodesian Air Force and British Royal Air Force during the Second World War and, after graduating from Rhodes University in South Africa, bought a farm in his home town in 1948. At the same time, he was elected as Selukwe's representative in the legislative assembly, running for the Southern Rhodesia Liberal Party; in doing so he became Southern Rhodesia's youngest ever member of parliament.

Smith supported the creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953, and won the Midlands federal constituency for the United Federal Party (UFP) in that year's inaugural federal election; following his election at federal level he resigned the territorial Selukwe seat. He served as the UFP's Chief Whip in the Federal Assembly from 1958 to 1962 before resigning to help form the pro-independence Rhodesia Reform Party, which shortly merged with the Dominion Party to form the Rhodesian Front (RF). After the RF's victory in the 1962 Southern Rhodesian general election Smith became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Treasury under Prime Minister Winston Field.

After Field failed to win the country's independence from Britain on the federation's dissolution in 1963, Smith took his place in 1964 and, running on an election promise of independence, led the RF to a clean sweep of the 50 largely white-elected "A" roll seats in the May 1965 general election. Frustrated by repeated failures to achieve this goal by negotiation with the British, who insisted on an immediate handover to the African nationalists, Smith's government unilaterally declared Rhodesia's independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965. Smith remained as premier until 1 June 1979 as the head of a white minority government; the state failed to gain international recognition and United Nations economic sanctions were instituted.

The Smith administration fought against African Marxists during the Bush War as part of its campaign to maintain its policy of a gradual transition of power, and negotiated an Internal Settlement with black moderates in 1979 – this agreement led to majority rule, the renaming of the country to Zimbabwe Rhodesia and a coalition government led by the country's first black prime minister, the United African National Council leader Abel Muzorewa, who included Smith in the cabinet as a minister without portfolio.

This still did not lead to international recognition for the country, however, and it was only in 1980, after the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement, the British-supervised election of Robert Mugabe as prime minister in April 1980 and the adoption of the name Zimbabwe that international acceptance came. Smith remained active in the Zimbabwean parliament until 1987, when he retired to the farm he still owned in the town of his birth. He relocated in 2005 to Cape Town, South Africa, where he died in 2007.

Read more about Ian SmithFamily and Early Life, Retirement, Death

Other articles related to "ian smith, smith, ian":

Ian Smith - Death
... In early 2005 Smith travelled to South Africa for medical treatment ... Ian Smith was reported to have been devastated by the news and not to have recovered from it either mentally or physically ...
Sun 1972
... South Coast of NSW Keith Shadwick, Gary Norwell, Henry Correy, Ian Smith and blues guitarist Allan Vander Linden formed a blues band called King Biscuit which play the ... After Ian Smith left the band, Renée Geyer was the singer for twelve months of the band's existence and performed on the album ... with Correy, Ford, Slavich and drummer Ian McLennan ...
Allan Savory - Political Involvement
... all moderate white parties united in opposition to Ian Smith in what was known as the National Unifying Force (NUF) led by Savory ... fighter and urged white Rhodesians to understand why he would feel this, Ian Smith denounced him as a traitor ... Savory continued to fight Ian Smith and his policies, in particular opposing the Internal Settlement under Bishop Abel Muzorewa ...
Alec Smith
... Alexander Douglas Smith, commonly known as Alec Smith (25 May 1949 – 19 January 2006) was born in Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia ... He was the son of Ian Smith, the Prime Minister of Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe) from 1964 to 1979 ... Ian Smith had married Janet Watt in late 1948, after returning from war service with facial disfigurement resulting from crashing his Spitfire while taking off from an airfield in ...
Legion Of Merit (Rhodesia) - Notable Recipients
... While the higher grades of the order were used almost exclusively by Ian Smith's Rhodesian Front government to reward political service, recipients of the lower and ... were ever made Grand Commander or Grand Officer only one woman (Janet Smith, the wife of Prime Minister Ian Smith) was awarded the honour of Commander, and just two women became Officers ... There were only 4 GCLMs awarded Prime Minister Ian Douglas Smith, President Clifford Dupont President John Wrathall and Cabinet Secretary Gerald Clarke There were 28 GLM's (Civil Division) Awarded ...

Famous quotes containing the word smith:

    The human heart dares not stay away too long from that which hurt it most. There is a return journey to anguish that few of us are released from making.
    —Lillian Smith (1897–1966)