The six former presidents of Singapore

-Yusof Ishak (President from 1965-1970)

Wife: The former journalist wed Puan Noor Aishah, now 78, in an arranged marriage. They had been married for 21 years before his death.

Children: Three.

Eldest child, Ms Orkid Kamariah, 62, is a housewife who lives with her immigration-officer husband in Malaysia.

Younger brother, Dr Imran, 61, is married to Madam Zarinah Mohamad and works in Brunei. His younger sister, Madam Zuriana, 58, also lives in Brunei, with her diplomat-husband.

Grandchildren: 10.

Eldest grandchild, Ms Fatimah Imran Yusof Ishak, 33, married her Dutch fiance on Nov 12. She is set to relocate to the Netherlands soon.

-Ong Teng Cheong (President from 1993-1999)

Wife: The former architect reportedly won the heart of his wife, Madam Ling Siew May, with his piano-playing when she was just 15. They were married in 1963, and often recited Chinese poetry together, according to a 2006 Straits Times report.

Children: Two.

Both sons, Tze Guan and Tze Boon, are trained architects. Tze Guan, 45, is the vice-chairman of Glowtec Environmental Corporation, a waste-water treatment company, which he co-founded. Tze Boon, 42, is Chairman of Architecture at environmental design solutions firm Ong & Ong. It was established by his parents in 1972.

Grandchildren: At least two.

Among them are Tze Guan's son, Justin, 14, and Tze Boon's son, nine.

-S R Nathan (President from 1999-2011)

Wife: Mr Nathan married his childhood sweetheart after a 16-year courtship, said a 1999 report in The New Paper. Madam Urmila Umi Nandey, now 82, was a for- mer teacher. Her Bengali family initially objected to their relationship, but event- ually gave them their blessings. The couple have been married for about 53 years.

Children: Two.

Son Osith, 48, runs Ostara Capital, a private investment-management firm. The firm has its roots in Orissa Associates, a business and trade-advisory firm which he founded and served as its managing director until 2008. Sister Juthika, 52, is the chief executive of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. She is married to lawyer Cheong Gay Eng.

Grandchildren: Three.

Juthika has three children: Kiron, Monisha and Kheshin, aged from 14 to 22.

-Devan Nair (President from 1981-1985)

Wife: He died shortly after his wife, Madam Avadai Dhanam Lakshimi, died from pneumonia in April 2005. They had known each other for 75 years.

Children: Four.

The eldest child, Mr Janadas Devan, 56, is an associate editor with The Straits Times and the director of the Institute of Policy Studies at the National University of Singapore. Son Janamitra, 54, is a vice-president with the World Bank Group. Youngest son, Janaprakash, formerly a businessman, died two years ago; he would have been 50 this year. Their sister, Madam Vijaya Kumari, 45, resides in Ontario, Canada.

Grandchildren: Five.

All of Mr Nair's grandchildren are still pursuing their studies, except for the eldest, Gitanjali. The 28-year-old is a corporate communications manager at a foreign bank in Singapore.

-Benjamin Henry Sheares (President from 1971-1981)

Wife: An obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Sheares met his wife, Madam Yeo Seh Geok, a trained midwife, while working at the Kandang Kerbau Hospital.

Children: Three.

Daughter Constance, 70, was formerly a curator with the Singapore National Museum and is married to a lawyer. Son Joseph, 68, is a heart surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. Younger son, Edwin, 62, is a businessman.

Grandchildren: Fewer than 10.

Among the late president's grandchildren is Ms Christine Kaelbel-Sheares, who is in her late 30s. She is the executive director of VIP F&B Operations at Marina Bay Sands, and is married to a Frenchman.

-Wee Kim Wee (President from 1985-1993)

Wife: Mr Wee had been married to Madam Koh Sok Hiong, the daughter of a successful businessman, for 69 years. He was proud of his wife's Peranakan cooking. The couple clasped hands as Mr Wee heaved his last breath after losing his battle with cancer, revealed granddaughter Lim Hui Min at his funeral.

Children: Seven.

Son Bill Wee Hock Kee, 75, runs his own archery business. Among his six sisters are civil lawyer Eng Hwa, 69, who has her own law firm, May Oh & Wee; and Dr Wee Hong Neo, 65, who runs her own medical practice, Wee Medical Clinic, in Clementi.

Grandchildren: 13.

Dr Wee's daughter, Hui Min, 39, is a legal officer at the Attorney-General's Chambers. She was a former district judge and is a published poet.

Growing up in the Presidents' shadow
Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: AsiaOne, TNP,ST, Wee Kim Wee, BH, myp)


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