Thanom Kittikachorn tä´no͝om kĭt˝əkəchôrn´ [key], 1911–2004, Thai political and military leader. He entered the army in 1929, rising to command of a division by 1950. After supporting a coup in 1957 by Sarit Thanarat, he served (1957–63) as defense minister and was (1957–58) also briefly prime minister. On Sarit's death in 1963, Thanom succeeded him as prime minister. A staunch anti-Communist, he supported U.S. policy in Southeast Asia. In 1971, Thanom increased his powers through a military takeover of the government. Protests against the abolition of constitutional government and Thanom's personal aggrandizement finally forced his resignation and exile in 1973. He returned to Thailand in 1976.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Southeast Asia History: Biographies