|First Minister of Scotland|
May 7, 1991 - October 11, 2000
|Preceded by:||Office Established|
|Succeded by:||Robin Cook|
|Secretary of State for Scotland|
May 1983 - May 7, 1991
|Preceded by:||Bruce Millan|
|First Secretary for Scotland|
May 10, 1981 -May 7, 1991
|Preceded by:||Office Created|
|Succeded by:||Office Dissolved|
August 21 1937, Glasgow, Scotland
|Died||October 11 2000, Edinburgh, Scotland|
Alison McNair (1964 - 1973)
University of Glascow
Donald Dewar was a Scottish Labour Party politician, who held the offices of First Secretary for Scotland (1981 - 1991), Secretary of State for Scotland (1983 - 1991) and First Minister of Scotland (1991 - 2000). He has been described by several commentators as the most powerful political figure north of the border since Robert the Bruce.
Dewer was first elected as Labour MP for Aberdeen South in 1966, but lost his seat in 1970. He returned to Westminster as MP for Glasgow Garscadden following a by election in 1978. He was one of the leaders of the campaign for a Scottish assembly in the 1979 referendum, and was partly responsible for guiding the amended Scotland Act through parliament in 1980-81.
He was the natural choice to become First Secretary for Scotland following the position's creation, and led the Labour Party to victory in the 1981 and 1985 assembly elections. In 1983 he was also appointed Secretary of State for Scotland.
The 1989 assembly election produced no majority for any party, and the Labour party negotiated a coalition agreement with the Liberal Democrats. As a result of this, and the constitutional reforms initiated by the Smith government, in 1991 the Scottish Assembly was upgraded to a full Scottish Parliament, Dewar became First Minister.
He served as First Minister until his death in 2000.