Profession: Founder of Modern Singapore
Why Famous: Known as the founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew was one of the most influential political figures in Asia. As the first Prime Minister of Singapore, he governed for over three decades (1959-90).
The co-founder and first Secretary-General of the People's Action Party (PAP), Lee led the party to eight victories and oversaw the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965 and its subsequent transformation from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a "First World" Asian Tiger.
With successive ministerial positions over 50 years, Lee was also one of history's longest-serving ministers. On 14th May 2011, Lee finally announced his retirement from the cabinet but Lee remained a Member of Parliament up until his death.
- 1950-09-30 First Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew (27) weds lawyer Kwa Geok Choo (29) in Singapore
- 1954-11-12 Lee Kuan Yew and others form the People's Action Party (PAP) in Singapore to work towards self-rule in Singapore
- 1959-06-05 The first independent government of the State of Singapore is sworn in with Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister
- 1965-08-07 Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore signs a separation agreement with Malaysia, after 2 years of political union
- 1990-11-28 Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew resigns, ending his term as Singapore's longest-serving Prime Minister
- "For me, it is a moment of anguish. All my life, my whole adult life, I have believed in merger and unity of the two territories." - Malaysia, Singapore