Mr. Pearnel Charles was born in Macedonia, a small rural district in the parish of St. Ann in 1936. He was educated at Lime Tree Garden Elementary School, West Indies College and the City College of the University of New York, distinguishing himself as President of the West Indian Students’ Association. Graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, he returned to Jamaica, where he pursued a full time career in trade unionism and politics.
He served as Vice President of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union where his expertise and experience as a trade union negotiator was invaluable.
His political involvement began in 1969 as a Parish Councillor in the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation. During the period 1972 to 1980, he sat in the Senate, the Upper House of Parliament and was later elected as a Member of Parliament for three consecutive terms as representative for the constituency of Eastern St. Thomas. He has served as Member of Parliament for the rural constituency of North Central Clarendon since 2002 and is currently in his fourth term. During his political career, he served with distinction as a Cabinet Minister marshalling the portfolios of Local Government, Public Utilities and Transport, and Labour and Social Security. He also served Deputy Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party for 19 years (1972-1991). He was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in March 2016.
In 1985, the title of “Chief” (The Ughebe of Ugharar) was conferred on him in Nigeria.
The Speaker is a published author of four books; he is married to Gloria and has seven children