Lee Kuan Yew (born Harry Lee Kuan Yew; 16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015), often referred to by his initials LKY, was a Singaporean politician and lawyer who served as the first Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. As one of the founding members of the People’s Action Party, Lee is recognised as the nation’s founding father, credited with rapidly transitioning the country from a “developing third world country into a developed first world country within a single generation” under his leadership.
After attending the London School of Economics, Lee graduated from Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, with double starred-first-class honours in law. He became a barrister of the Middle Temple in 1950 and practised law until 1959. Lee co-founded the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 1954 and was its first secretary-general until 1992, leading the party to eight consecutive victories. After Lee chose to step down as Prime Minister in 1990, he served as Senior Minister under his successor Goh Chok Tong until 2004, then as Minister Mentor (an advisory post) until 2011, under his own son Lee Hsien Loong. In total, Lee held successive ministerial positions for 56 years. He continued to serve his Tanjong Pagar constituency for nearly 60 years as a member of parliament until his death in 2015. From 1991, he helmed the five-member Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency and remained unopposed for a record five elections.
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