Maurice Bishop, the son of Rupert and Alimenta Bishop, was born on 29th May 1944.
An intelligent pupil, Bishop won a scholarship to the Roman Catholic Presentation Boys College. While at this school he won the gold medal for "outstanding academic and all round ability."
As a young man Bishop developed an interest in
politics and in 1962 joined with Bernard Coard to form the
Grenada Assembly of Youth After Truth. Twice a month Bishop
and Coard led debates on current events in the Central Market
Place in Grenada.
In 1969 Maurice Bishop returned to Grenada after studying law in England. Soon afterwards he helped form the Movement for Assemblies of the People (MAP) and the Movement for the Advance of Community (MACE). In 1973 these organizations merged with Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education and Liberation (JEWEL) to establish the New Jewel Movement (NJM).
In 1979 a rumor began circulating that PM
Eric Gairy planned to use his "Mongoose Gang" to
assassinate leaders of the New Jewel Movement while he was
out of the country.
On 13th March 1979, Bishop and the NJM took over the nation's radio station. With the support of the people the NJM was able to take control of the rest of the country forming the Peoples Revolutionary Government (PRG) and the Peoples Revolutionary Army (PRA).
He received aid from the Soviet Union and Cuba
and with this money constructed the Grenada International Airport
to improve tourism, and started Argro industries among other
Bishop attempted to develop a good relationship with the United States and allowed private enterprise to continue on the island. Bernard Coard, the Minister of Finance, disagreed with this policy. He also disliked Bishop's ideas on grassroots democracy.
On 19th October, with the support of the army, Coard overthrew the government. Maurice Bishop and most of his ministers was arrested some was executed.