HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand passed away today at the age of 88 at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok.
HM King Bhumibol ascended to the throne on June 9, 1946, and was the world’s longest-reigning monarch. He was also known as King Rama IX and was the ninth monarch in the Chakri Dynasty.
The well-loved monarch is survived by his wife, Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara and his children: Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya and her two daughters; Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and five sons and two daughters; Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Princess Chulabhorn Walailak and her two daughters as well as a large extended family.
He will be succeeded on the throne by his son, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Among King Bhumibol’s most widely-praised accomplishments were the philosophy of Sufficiency Economy, a concept he taught citizens about living a moderate, self-dependent life without greed or exploitation and to survive on their own in the age of globalization.
In his off-hours, he was a keen photographer, jazz saxophone player and composer, preferring Dixieland and New Orleans-style jazz. He composed nearly fifty songs, mostly in the genres of blues. He was also an accomplished painter. An avid animal lover, he published a book about one of his favorite dogs, a female ginger called Thong Daeng. The book is called “The Story of Thong Daeng.”
King Bhumibol was born on December 5, 1927 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, the Prince of Songkla, and Sangwan Srinagarindra (later recognized Somdet Ya or Princess Srinagarindra). He was the youngest son in the family, born while his father attended Harvard University.
The King graduated with a political science degree from The University of Lausanne in Switzerland and got married on April 28, 1950.
For the last decade, King Bhumibol has had health issues that have included bacterial infections, breathing difficulties, heart issues and fluid in the brain.