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Arthur Raymond Chung

In office
17 March 1970 – 6 October 1980
Prime Minister Forbes Burnham
Preceded by Edward Luckhoo (Acting)
Succeeded by Forbes Burnham

Born 10 January 1918(1918-01-10)
Windsor Forest, West Demerara, British Guiana
Died 23 June 2008 (aged 90)
Bel Air Springs, Guyana
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Doreen Chung

Arthur Raymond Chung (鍾亞瑟, pinyin: Zhōng Yàsè) (January 10, 1918 – June 23, 2008) was a President of Guyana from 1970 to 1980.[1] He was the first ethnic Chinese (Hakka) President in a non-Asian country. During his time as President of Guyana, the office was that of a ceremonial head of state, with real power in the hands of Prime Minister Forbes Burnham.

Chung was born at Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara in Guyana; he was the youngest of Joseph and Lucy Chung's eight children.[1] He was educated at Windsor Forest, Blankenburg and Modern High School.

Before civic service Chung was an apprentice surveyor and sworn land surveyor. In the early 1940s Chung entered the Middle Temple of London, England and qualified as a barrister in 1947. He returned to Guyana and was later appointed an acting magistrate. In 1954, he became a magistrate and in 1960 a senior magistrate. He also served as Registrar of Deeds and of the Supreme Court. He then became a puisne judge and finally an Appeal Court Judge in 1963.

When Guyana became a republic under the leadership of Forbes Burnham in 1970, the National Assembly elected Chung as the country's first President; he took office on March 17, 1970. Ten years later, a constitutional revision transformed the presidency into an executive position and Burnham succeeded Chung as President[1] on October 6, 1980.[2]

Chung died on June 23, 2008[1][2] at his home. In the two months prior to his death he had been hospitalized a number of times, and he was last released from the hospital on June 20.[2]

In 1954, Chung married another native of Windsor Forest, Doreen Pamela Ng-See-Quan, with whom he had one daughter and one son.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Guyana’s Governor General dies", GINA, June 23, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c "Guyana’s first president Arthur Chung dies", Starbroek News, June 24, 2008.
Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Luckhoo
President of Guyana
1970 – 1980
Succeeded by
Forbes Burnham


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