Ralston Milton "Rex" Nettleford, OM (Jamaica), OCC, (February 3, 1933 - February 2, 2010) was a Jamaican scholar, social critic and choreographer, died in a United States hospital late Tuesday, at 8 p.m., four hours before his 77th birthday.
Nettleford, who at the time of his passing was the vice-chancellor emeritus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), collapsed in the US last week Wednesday and had to be admitted to the intensive care unit of the George Washington Hospital in Washington DC after suffering what was reported to be a massive heart attack.
He had previously served as the vice-chancellor of the UWI’s Mona Campus in Jamaica from 1996 to 2004.
Nettleford was regarded as one of the Caribbean’s leading intellectuals and was bestowed with the Order of the Caribbean Community in 2008.
He was also the recipient of Jamaica’s third highest honour, the Order of Merit and was a cultural advisor to Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
The founder of the internationally acclaimed National Dance Theatre Company, Nettleford also authored several publications such as Mirror Mirror, which dealt with racial and social issues in Jamaica.