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JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has expressed regret at the passing yesterday (October 1) of Jamaica’s former Ambassador to the United States, the Hon. Keith Johnson O.J.
Ambassador Johnson passed away, peacefully, at his home in New York. He was 88 years old.
A release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Friday (October 2) said that Mr. Golding noted that, following Ambassador Johnson’s retirement in 1991, he was praised as one of the most inspirational figures to serve as an Ambassador in Washington by prominent foreign relations spokesmen, including former U.S. Secretary of State, General Colin Powell.
Mr. Golding noted that Ambassador Johnson had served nearly 50 years in the Diplomatic Corps and that, after his retirement, he continued to serve as a senior consultant to the international community, including a number of Non-Government Organizations in the areas of human rights, social justice and environmental justice.
The release from Jamaica House said that Mr. Golding has sent his condolences to Ambassador Johnson’s twin daughters, the Rev. Hope Johnson and Janice Marie Johnson, in New York, as well as his grandchildren, members of his extended family and his many friends.
Ambassador Johnson was born in Spanish Town, St. Catherine on July 29, 1921 and attended the Central Branch School, Kingston College and Columbia University.
He worked in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, between 1949 and 1962, when he was invited home by the Government of newly independent Jamaica and appointed Consul General in New York, 1962-67.
He served in various other diplomatic positions, including Permanent Representative to the UN, 1967-1973, and Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, 1981-1991.
He was also, at various stages: Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and non-resident Ambassador to – Argentina, Israel, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the Holy See.
Ambassador Johnson was honoured with the Order of Jamaica (OJ), as well the Knight Grand Commander, Liberia; the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Federal Republic of Germany; and the Grand Cross of Luxembourg.