Lee Kuan Yew - Updated Mar 2024

Updated On February 12, 2024
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Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew was a lawyer and politician from Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990, making him the country’s longest-serving leader. Singapore became the most opulent country in Southeast Asia during his leadership.

Early Life

Harry  Lee Kuan Yew best known as Lee Kuan Yew was born on 16 September 1923, in Singapore, Straits Settlements. He was 91 years old at the time of his death and was a citizen of Singapore.

Moreover, he was the son of Lee Chin Koon and Chua Jim Neo. He was born into an affluent Chinese family that had been in Singapore since the nineteenth century. Dennis Lee, Freddy Lee, and Lee Suan Yew are his three brothers, while Monica Lee is his only sister.

Lee Kuan Yew

Caption: Lee Kuan Yew posing with former president of the United States Barrack Obama (Source: The Indian Express)

He attended the elite Raffles Institution and took the Senior Cambridge exams first in Singapore and Malaysia.

Between 1940 and 1942, he attended Raffles College on an Anderson Scholarship. After that, he went to Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge, England, during WWII to study law.

He was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia in early 2015. He was on a ventilator and in severe condition by early March, and he died on March 23, 2015.

Lee Kuan Yew – Net Worth 2023

At the time of his death, he had an estimated net worth of around $80 million US dollars. Furthermore, he has made his name and fame with his hard work and dedication.


Lee has earned respective honors and awards in his life. The Order of the Companions of Honor, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, and the Freedom of the City of London are some awards given by Britain to Lee.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars awarded him with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.

Relationship Status

Lee Kuan Yew married Kwa Geok Choo in 1950. The couple had three children whose names are Hsien Loong, (the current PM), Dr. Wei Ling (who heads the National Neuroscience Institute), and Hsien Yang (who presides over the telecommunication giant, SingTel).

Till his death, Lee Kuan Yew was not a part of any controversy nor got rumors in his life.

Lee Kuan Yew

Caption: Lee with his wife Kwa Geok Choo (Source: Pinterest)

Professional Career

In 1949, he returned to Singapore. As the election agent for pro-British Progressive Party leader John Laycock, at whose law office he worked, he got invaluable political experience.

He established the People’s Action Party (PAP) with some English-educated middle-class men as a front for the illegal Malayan Communist Party backed by pro-communist trade unions.

In addition, he won the Tanjong Pagar seat in the 1955 elections and became the Opposition leader. In London, he represented the PAP in two negotiations about Singapore’s future constitutional status.

The PAP won an absolute majority in the 1959 elections, obtaining 43 of the 51 Legislative Assembly seats. Moreover, Lee was sworn in as Singapore’s first Prime Minister after the country was granted self-government. He acquired plenty of issues in a variety of areas.

He established the Housing and Development Board in 1960.  On a war footing, the board made efforts to create affordable housing.

In 1965, he secured Singapore’s admission to the United Nations, and two years later, to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He declared neutrality and non-alignment as his policy.

Lee Kuan Yew

Caption: Yew’s memoirs titled The Singapore Story (Source: Rakuten Kobo)

Additional Career Information

He charged then-Deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee with forming the Singapore Armed Forces, which he did with international help. Furthermore, Compulsory military service established itself in 1967.

English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil have all been designated as official languages. In 1979, the ‘Speak Mandarin Campaign’ was established to promote Mandarin among Chinese-speaking individuals of various dialects.

He ordered the Chinese-language Nanyang University to merge with the English-language University of Singapore to become the National University of Singapore to promote the use of English.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau enhanced subsequent legislation, giving it the authority to make arrests, probe bank accounts, and get information on suspected people’s income tax returns.

He founded the Social Development Unit in 1983 to encourage men and women graduates to mix. Moreover, he was alarmed by the tendency of Singaporean men to refuse to accept graduate women as life partners.

He left as Prime Minister in 1990 to make way for Goh Chok Tong, but he remained powerful as a Senior Minister in the government, serving as an advisor.

In 2004, Goh Chok Tong stepped down as Prime Minister in favor of Lee Hsien Loong, Lee’s oldest son. Moreover, Lee Senior became Minister Mentor in the new cabinet.

As an author

During his lifetime, he wrote several novels. ‘The Singapore Story,’ ‘From Third World to First World: The Singapore Story,’ ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew,’ and ‘One Man’s View of the World’ are among them.

Body Measurements

Lee has black hair and black eyes in color. Besides, there is no more information regarding Yew’s height, weight, and other body measurements.

Lee Kuan Yew – Social Media

As of now, Lee is not alive in this world. Previously, he was not active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.