Lee Kuan Yew, 1923-2015

The creator of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, respected as one of Asia’s foremost statesmen abroad and feared as a ruthless authoritarian at home, died today at 91 of complications from pneumonia. He had been on life support for several days. Becoming Singapore’s first prime minister in 1959 as the British colonials were leaving, he cast a shadow far beyond the tiny island republic that he ran with an iron hand, not just during the three decades he was in office, leaving in 1990, but remaining as a dominant presence in the administrations of Goh Chok Tong, who followed him, and his son, Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore’s present prime minister.

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