Noor Hassanali

Noor Mohamed Hassanali

2nd President of Trinidad and Tobago
In office
20 March 1987 – 17 March 1997
Prime Minister A.N.R. Robinson
Patrick Manning
Basdeo Panday
Preceded by Ellis Clarke
Succeeded by A. N. R. Robinson
Personal details
Noor Mohamed Hassanali

(1918-08-13)13 August 1918[1]
San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago
Died 25 August 2006(2006-08-25) (aged 88)
Westmoorings, Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago
Resting place Western Cemetery, St. James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Citizenship British (1918-1962)
Trinidadian and Tobagonian (1962-d.)
Nationality Trinidadian and Tobagonian
Political party Independent
Profession Lawyer

HE Noor Mohamed Hassanali TC (13 August 1918 – 25 August 2006)[2] was the second President of Trinidad and Tobago (1987–1997). A retired high-court judge, Hassanali was the first person of Indian descent along with being the first Muslim to hold the office of President of Trinidad and Tobago and to be a head of state in the Western Hemisphere.[3]


The sixth of seven children, Hassanali was born into a Muslim Indo-Trinidadian family in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. He attended the Corinth Canadian Mission Primary School and Naparima College. After graduating he taught at Naparima from 1938 to 1943. In 1943 he travelled to Canada, where he studied at the University of Toronto.[4]

Hassanali was described as "one of the most neutral, reserved, and dignified figures in the history of T&T politics".[5] When he was inaugurated as president in 1987 he was described as "a person of impeccable credentials who has a reputation for honesty and humility of the highest order."[6] As a Muslim, Hassanali chose not to serve alcoholic beverages at President's House. Despite reservations on the part of then-Prime Minister A. N. R. Robinson, the decision was never seen as controversial by the public.[7]

Hassanali succeeded acting president Ellis Clarke (1976–1987) and was himself succeeded by Arthur N. R. Robinson (president 1997–2003).[8]

Hassanali died on 25 August 2006 at his home in Westmoorings, Trinidad and Tobago, at the age of 88.[9] He had suffered from hypertension for the preceding year.[9] Hassanali was buried later in the day in the Western Cemetery in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago.[9]


  1. ^ Lentz III, H. M. (2013). Trinidad and Tobago - Heads of State; Heads of Government. In Heads of States and Governments Since 1945 (p. 758). New York, NY: Routledge.
  2. ^ Profile of Noor Mohamed Hassanali
  3. ^ "Noor Hassanali". The Times. 29 September 2006. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 26 September 2019 – via
  4. ^ * Biography from Nalis.
  5. ^ A dignified figure of T&T politics[permanent dead link], Trinidad Guardian, 26 August 2006.
  6. ^ Then-Prime Minister A. N. R. Robinson, quoted in A dignified figure of T&T politics[permanent dead link], Trinidad Guardian, 26 August 2006.
  7. ^ " As one committed to the Muslim faith Mr. Hassanali never allowed alcoholic beverages to be served at any of his functions at President's House. I considered that as president of such diverse faiths as exist in Trinidad and Tobago, that one might appear to some to imposing one's belief on others. Nevertheless, this never became an issue in the country and the tenure of this noble citizen was marked by peaceful acceptance by the nation." Hassanali a model citizen – Robinson[permanent dead link], Trinidad Guardian, 26 August 2006.
  8. ^ The Office of the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago - History of the Presidency
  9. ^ a b c Forde, Lester (26 August 2006). "Former president Noor Hassanali dead at 88". Trinidad Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ellis Clarke
President of Trinidad and Tobago
Succeeded by
A. N. R. Robinson