Lee Kuan Yew, 91

Posted on March 23, 2015 12:59:33 PM | BREAKING NEWS

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's pioneering prime minister and the widely acknowledged father of the city-state in its modern incarnation, died in the early morning of March 23, following a bout with severe pneumonia. He was 91.

The Singapore Prime Minister's Office issued a statement on its website, which read: "The Prime Minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore. Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18am. He was 91."

The former prime minister had been in Singapore General Hospital since February 5, on life support at the intensive care unit and receiving treatment for severe pneumonia. On March 22, the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that Mr. Lee's condition worsened due to an infection.

On Mr. Lee's watch as prime minister of Singapore for 31 years, the former British crown colony became the leading economy in Southeast Asia -- after a turbulent post colonial history that includes, among other key chapters, Singapore's expulsion from Malaysia in 1965, amid political and racial tensions between the latter and the predominantly Chinese city state.