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Bhumibol Adulyadej
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (December 5, 1927-October 13, 2016)
    Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts
    King of Thailand for over 70 years (June 9, 1946-October 13, 2016)
    Was the world’s longest-ruling monarch at the time of his death
    Was the longest-ruling monarch in Thai history
    Also known as Rama IX
    Topped Forbes’ ‘World’s Richest Royals’ list six consecutive years (2008-13)
    Wealth estimated at $30 billion
    He may have accidentally killed his brother, King Ananda Mahidol, when the siblings, both firearm enthusiasts, were playing with guns. (The government first claimed Ananda had accidentally shot himself. After an investigating committee concluded that was virtually impossible, the government executed two palace aides for regicide.)
    His coronation ceremony was delayed until four years after he became king (May 5, 1950).
    He had no qualms about supporting military dictatorships as long as they promised to retain the monarchy.
    Under lese majeste laws, criticism of him could be punished with a jail sentence of three to fifteen years.
    Because of the resulting extreme deference, no one was willing to tell him that a royal-backed project to extract petroleum from seawater was a waste of time and money. (At least until Britain’s famously undiplomatic Prince Philip heard about the scheme during a state visit and offered the king his frank opinion.)
    He was exempt from Thai income taxes.
    He was married to Queen Sirikit for 66 years.
    He lost the sight in his right eye in a car crash in Switzerland (October 4, 1948).
    He was a talented jazz saxophonist and played with Benny Goodman, Stan Getz and the Preservation Jazz Band.
    He received four patents, one for a waste water aerator, three for rainmaking methods.
    When an impasse between the Thai military and pro-democracy activists triggered rioting and threatened civil war, he summoned the leaders of the two sides to a televised audience and told them to find a peaceful solution (May 20, 1992).
    During his 2005 birthday speech, he attacked the lese majeste laws and invited criticism of himself. (Apparently, the government did not agree with the king, as the number of lese majeste prosecutions jumped sharply along with the criticisms.)

Credit: C. Fishel

    In 2018, Out of 30 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
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