Milestones of his life

Milestones of his life

1923: Born on Sept 16 to Shell Oil Company depot manager Lee Chin Koon and Chua Jim Neo in his family's two-storey bungalow at 92 Kampong Java Road.

1935: Came in first in Telok Kurau English School in an islandwide exam and won a place in Raffles Institution, where he met future wife Kwa Geok Choo in 1939.

He previously attended two Chinese-medium schools.

1940: Topped the Senior Cambridge exams in Singapore and Malaya, and won the Anderson Scholarship to read English, economics and mathematics at Raffles College.

1946: Began law school at the London School of Economics, but moved to Cambridge University the next year, when Madam Kwa joined him. They married secretly on Dec 23, 1947, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

1950: Called to the Bar at the Middle Temple after graduating the year before. Returned to Singapore, joined law firm Laycock & Ong and married Mrs Lee officially on Sept 30. They had three children: Hsien Loong (born in 1952), Wei Ling (1955) and Hsien Yang (1957).

1954: Formed the People's Action Party (PAP), inaugurated at Victoria Memorial Hall on Nov 21.

1955: Elected legislative assemblyman for Tanjong Pagar on April 2.

Founded his own law firm, Lee & Lee, with Mrs Lee and younger brother Dennis on Sept 1.

1959: Sworn in as Singapore's first prime minister at the age of 35 after the PAP won 43 out of 51 seats in the General Election.

1960: Enacted a law to wipe out corruption and establish a clean and effective government.

1961: Set up the Economic Development Board to draw foreign investments to an industrialising Singapore.

1963: Malaysia formed, comprising Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.

Launched a home ownership scheme which enabled 91 per cent of Housing Board residents to own their homes by 1996.

1965: Singapore separated from Malaysia on Aug 9. Mr Lee wept on national TV, saying he had believed his whole life in the unity of the two territories.

1967: Full-time national service introduced to build Singapore's defence force ahead of British troops' pullout in 1971.

1990: Stepped down as prime minister after 31 years and succeeded by Goh Chok Tong. Appointed senior minister on Nov 28.

1998: Published first volume of memoirs, The Singapore Story. The second volume, From Third World To First: The Singapore Story, was launched in 2000.

2004: Assumed the post of minister mentor after his son, Hsien Loong, became prime minister, and Mr Goh was made senior minister on Aug 18.

2010: Mrs Lee died on Oct 2 after a long illness caused by strokes.

2011: Stepped down from the Cabinet.

2015: Died yesterday at 3.18am, leaving three children and seven grandchildren.


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