aIan Sangster, a Leither who left school aged 14 to work for a housepainter, then went on to graduate from universities here and overseas and won world renown for developing Jamaica's rum industry, has died.

Ian Sangster went to Leith Academy, leaving school as soon as the law allowed to satisfy his desire to make his own way in the world. This he did by working during the day as an apprentice signwriter and studying at night so that, following two years' national service, he won a scholarship to Edinburgh College of Art.

Despite glittering success there and a job with a Leith paint manufacturer, he went back to night school to study chemistry at Glasgow University. This was followed by a Nato scholarship which allowed him to study at Hamburg where he graduated summa cum laude in half the time normally taken for a chemistry degree - and that despite having to learn German. His thesis on carbohydrates led to the development of a number of diabetes treatments in use today.

He sought a climate more clement than that of Leith and went to teach chemistry at the University of Jamaica. Support from the Medical Research Council bought him back home, this time to study at Aberdeen University. But Jamaica had cast its spell and a job with that country's sugar industry authority brought a fresh turn in his career. In the kitchen of his home in Jamaica, he and his first wife - he married four times - developed a range of rums in 27 different flavours, sold under the name Sangster's Liqueurs.

Dr Sangster leaves a widow, Karen, and two daughters, Fiona and Morag.

Dr Ian Sangster; born April 6, 1934, died April 18, 2001