Peace & Quiet
King Bhumibol Adulyadej (r1946-)
Thailand's king and currently the longest reigning monarch in the world was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and educated partly in the United States and Switzerland. King Bhumibol returned to Thailand after World War II to find the monarchy in a position of relative weakness. Since then he has restored the power of the constitutional monarchy, the role of democracy in his country, and respect and love for the royal family.
Chang and Eng (c1811-74)
The celebrated first-reported conjoined twins (hence the term 'Siamese twins') were discovered in Bangkok in 1824. Chang and Eng migrated to America where they both married, raised extensive families and finally died within hours of each other.King Chulalongkorn (r1868-1910)
The fifth monarch of the reigning Chakri Dynasty and Siam's most venerated king, Chulalongkorn is widely credited with preserving Siam's freedom at a time of rampant Western colonialism. He introduced sweeping political and social reforms, setting Siam on the road to development and independence as a modern nation state.Khaosai Galaxy (1959-)
Thailand's most celebrated and popular boxer successfully defended the 115-pound world title 19 times. At the height of his career, he was the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, and this in a period when Mike Tyson was the undisputed heavyweight champion.Anand Panyarachun (1932-)
Credited with helping restore democracy following the 1991 military coup, Anand was Thailand's Prime Minister from 1991-92. A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge (UK), he was ambassador to the United States in 1972 and deputy foreign minister in 1976.Kukrit Pramoj (1911-95)
Intellectual, novelist and political columnist, Kukrit was Prime Minister of Thailand (1975-76) and became a respected elder statesman. He acted opposite Marlon Brando in the 1963 film The Ugly American in which he played the Prime Minister of a Southeast Asian nation.Porntip Nakhirunkanok (1968-)
Thais are passionate about beauty contests and Porntip, Miss Universe 1988, is considered the most successful Miss Thailand. The television announcer with a master's degree in psychology also works for children's charities.Tiger Woods (1975-)
American golfer Tiger Woods, whose mother is Thai, has been claimed by Thais as one of their own. One of the greatest golfers in the world today, he has been granted Thai citizenship, although he has never lived in the country.