King Bhumibol Adulyadej (5 December 1927 – 13 October 2016) was the revered monarch of Thailand, known for his long and impactful reign. His life and contributions left an indelible mark on the Thai nation. Forbes estimated Bhumibol’s fortune – including property and investments managed by the Crown Property Bureau, a body that is neither private nor government-owned (assets managed by the Bureau were owned by the crown as an institution, not by the monarch as an individual)– to be US$30 billion in 2010, and he headed the magazine’s list of the “world’s richest royals” from 2008 to 2013. In May 2014, Bhumibol’s wealth was again listed as US$30 billion.
Life & Career
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on December 5, 1927, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He was the youngest son of Prince Mahidol Adulyadej and Princess Srinagarindra, both members of the Thai royal family. King Bhumibol spent his early years in the United States due to his father’s studies but later returned to Thailand, where he continued his education.
King Bhumibol ascended to the throne in 1946 following the tragic death of his brother, King Ananda Mahidol. His reign, which spanned over seven decades, made him the world’s longest-reigning current monarch and a beloved figure in Thailand.
During his reign, King Bhumibol played a crucial role in Thailand’s modernization and development. He undertook numerous projects aimed at improving the lives of his subjects, from rural development and agriculture initiatives to healthcare and education programs. His dedication to the well-being of the Thai people earned him the title of “The People’s King.”
Legacy and Awards
King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s legacy lies in his unwavering commitment to the welfare of his subjects. His dedication to social and economic development led to significant improvements in the quality of life for many Thais. He was a unifying figure in a country with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
Over the years, King Bhumibol received numerous awards and honors, both nationally and internationally. His contributions to agriculture, development, and public service were widely recognized.
King Bhumibol’s notable works include the Royal Projects, which aimed to uplift the living standards of hill tribe people and rural communities. These projects focused on sustainable agriculture, reforestation, and alternative crop cultivation. His musical talents were also well-known; he was an accomplished jazz musician and composer, known for his saxophone skills and contributions to Thai music.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s reign and life continue to be remembered and celebrated in Thailand and beyond. He was not only a monarch but a symbol of unity, compassion, and progress for the Thai people.
On 12 November 2016, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate King Bhumibol Adulyadej.