Profession: 1st White Rajah of Sarawak
Why Famous: Known as the "White Rajah" Brooke was a British adventurer whose exploits in Borneo and dealings with the Sultan of Brunei led to the creation of the independent state of Sarawak, now an autonomous state within the Federation of Malaysia.
Brooke himself became the first Rajah of Sarawak and ruled the small independent state from 1841 to his death in 1868.
Having no legitimate children, Brooke selected his nephew Charles Brooke as his successor and ensured power passed to him upon his death.
Brooke thus founded a family dynasty that would rule Sarawak until the Japanese invasion of Borneo in 1941.
- 1841-09-24 British adventurer James Brooke obtains lands around the Sarawak river from the Sultan of Brunei
- 1857-02-18 Chinese residents in the fledging state of Sarawak rebel against the "White Rajah" James Brooke