PETALING JAYA - The late Sultan Azlan Shah was born on April 19, 1928 in Batu Gajah to Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil Nasshirruddin Shah (who reigned from 1948 to 1963) and Toh Puan Dewangsa Khadijah Ahmad.
His early education began at Government English School in Batu Gajah - now known as SMK Sultan Yusuf - and later in the prestigious Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK).
He studied law at the University of Nottingham where he obtained a Bachelor in Law in 1953 and a year later was admitted to the English Bar in Lincoln's Inn.
Upon his return, he joined the civil service as an assistant state secretary before moving on to the judicial and legal service as a first class magistrate and president of the Sessions court.
Throughout his legal service, he held various positions before becoming the youngest judge in the Commonwealth when he was elevated to the Bench of the High Court of Malaya in 1965 at the age of 37.
On Nov 12, 1982, Sultan Azlan Shah assumed the highest post in the country's judiciary system when he was appointed Lord President.
A few months later saw Sultan Azlan Shah "moving" from the Bench to the Perak throne when he was appointed Raja Muda on July 1, 1983.
Seven months later on Feb 3, 1984, he ascended the throne following the demise of Sultan Idris ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
Sultan Azlan Shah was installed the 34th Sultan of Perak on Dec 9, 1985.
In April 1989, Sultan Azlan Shah became the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong and served the full five-year term and returned as Sultan of Perak in 1994.
Sultan Azlan married Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun Mohd Ali in 1955 and the couple was blessed with two sons and three daughters - Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, 56, Datuk Seri Raja Azureen, 55, Raja Kecil Sulong Datuk Seri Raja Ashman Shah, 54, Raja Eleena, 53, and Raja Yong Sofia, 52.
Raja Ashman passed away on March 30, 2012 following an asthma attack.
Sultan Azlan Shah also held many positions, namely as Universiti Sains Malaysia pro-chancellor (Oct 4, 1971 - February 1984), Higher Education Advisory Council chairman (Nov 1, 1974 - Oct 31, 1976) and University of Malaya Chancellor since Feb 8, 1986.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literature by University of Malaya on June 30, 1979 and an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Universiti Sains Malaysia on June 28, 1980.
His outstanding achievements were also recognised by many foreign universities.
He was conferred Honorary Doctorate of Law by University of Nottingham, Honorary Bencher by the Lindoln's Inn and Honorary Fellowship by the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, among others.
An avid sportsman, he was the president of the Malaysian and Asian Hockey Federation.