Sir James Richard Mancham was born on Agust 11, 1939 in Victoria, Seychelles.
In 1976, Mancham won the popular vote when the British gave the Seychelles independence. Less than a year later, in June 1977, he was deposed in a coup by Prime Minister France-Albert René, who had the support of Tanzanian-trained revolutionaries and Tanzanian-supplied weapons, whilst Mancham was attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference in London. Mancham lived in exile in London until April 1992. During this period, Mancham was financially successful in several international business ventures and married Catherine Olsen, an Australian journalist working in London. When he returned to the Seychelles following the lifting of the ban on opposition, he resumed the promotion of tourism to the tropical islands. He ran for president in July 1993 and finished second behind René with 36.72% of the vote. In March 1998 he ran again, receiving third place and 13.8% of the vote, behind René and Wavel Ramkalawan.