Lee Kuan YewPolitical Leader
Born: 16 September 1923
Best known as: The first prime minister of modern Singapore
Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore to independence and served as its first prime minister. He was regularly re-elected from 1959 until he stepped down in 1990. Lee Kuan Yew was educated in England, and under his firm guidance Singapore became a financial and industrial powerhouse, despite a lack of abundant natural resources. Lee ruled with ultimate authority, and his zeal for law and order was legendary. In 1990 he stepped down and was succeeded as prime minister by Goh Chok Tong. Lee Kuan Yew remained in the cabinet as senior minister until 2011, when he stepped down at age 87. He did, however, retain his seat in Parliament.
Extra credit: Lee Kuan Yew's son, Lee Hsien Loong, became prime minister in 2004, succeeding Goh Chok Tong.
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