Thursday, February 16, 2012

S.R. Nathan

Sellapan Ramanathan (Tamil: செல்லப்பன் ராமநாதன், Cellappa Rāmanāta ?; born 3 July 1924) is a Singaporean politician who was the sixth President of the Republic of Singapore. Usually referred to as S. R. Nathan, he was first sworn in on September 1, 1999. In 1999 and 2005, he was elected President in uncontested elections. In 2009, he surpassed Benjamin Sheares to become Singapore's longest-serving President. His term ended on August 31, 2011.

Early Life
Nathan is a Singaporean of Tamil descent; his childhood was spent with his two older brothers and grandparents, V. Sellapan and Apiram, in Muar, Johor, in a house overlooking the sea. His father had been posted to the Malayan town as a lawyer's clerk for a firm that serviced rubber plantations, but the Great Depression and rubber slump of the 1930s sent the family's fortunes crashing. Nathan's father accrued debts, and eventually killed himself when Nathan was eight.

The young Nathan returned to his birthplace, Singapore, to live. He received his primary education in Anglo-Chinese Primary School and Rangoon Road Afternoon School, and his secondary education at Victoria School. He started working before completing his studies. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, Nathan worked for the Japanese Kempeitai as a translator. After the war, whilst working, he completed his secondary education through self-study, and entered the University of Malaya (then in Singapore) where he graduated in 1954 with a Diploma in Social Studies (Distinction).

Personal Life
Nathan, a Tamil, is married to Urmila (Umi) Nandey, a Bengali of Indian descent, and has a daughter, a son, and three grandchildren.

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