Harold Blakemore was born in South Yorkshire in 1930 and educated at Mexborough Grammar School. At University College London he specialised in Latin American history. After teaching History and International Relations at the University of Sheffield, he returned to the University of London to the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1965, the University established the Institute of Latin American Studies. Professor Blakemore became its Secretary, a post he retained until his retirement in 1987.
A prolific author and regular editor, speaker and reviewer, Professor Blakemore was editor of "The Journal of Latin American studies" from 1969 to 1987, joint editor of "The Cambridge encyclopaedia of Latin America and the Caribbean" (1985), and contributed to "The Cambridge history of Latin America" (1986).
Beyond the academic world, he was also consulted on commercial matters and was for many years a member of the Latin American Trade Advisory Group. In 1990 Professor Blakemore was invested by the Chilean government with the Bernardo O'Higgins Order of Merit for his "magnificent contribution to Anglo-Chilean understanding".
After his death in 1991 his widow, donated his books and papers to the Bradford University Library in 1993. The book collection alone includes over 2000 volumes of published books and journals on the history, economics and politics of Chile and Argentina.