One of the country’s most prominent businessmen and philanthropists, Tony Hart, is dead.

Mr. Hart died yesterday in hospital.

He was 87 years old.

He was battling illness for several years.

Mr. Hart was instrumental in the development of the Montego Bay Freeport which is now the center of commercial activity in St James.

In 2013, he was inducted into the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, PSOJ Hall of Fame.

In 2015, Mr. Hart was also inducted into the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Leaders Wall of Fame.

Two years later, Mr. Hart was awarded the country’s fourth highest national honour, the Order of Jamaica for his contribution to nation-building.

He served the public and private sectors in several capacities including being a former Chairman of the Caymanas Track Limited.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness reacted to Mr. Hart’s passing yesterday via twitter.

In a statement, Prime Minister Holness said he’s deeply saddened to learn of Mr. Hart’s passing. He described him as a Jamaican stalwart and legendary businessman.

The Prime Minister says Mr. Hart’s life  exemplified quality and dedicated service.

Mr. Hart ran as a candidate for the Jamaica Labour Party in 1972.

The Prime Minister says he’s extending heartfelt condolences to Mr. Hart’s  family and friends. 

Meanwhile, President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Janet Silvera’s describing Hart as a St James business tycoon. 

She says the Chamber’s celebrating his life and work at his passing.

Janet Silvera, President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce. 

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett says Hart’s pioneered many developments in Montego Bay.

The Minister’s expressed condolences at the passing of the businessman.

Edmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister. 

They were speaking yesterday with Nationwide News.