Born in 1936, Ong Teng Cheong was an architect, politician and head of state. After completing his Master of Civic Design degree at the University of Liverpool, he joined the Planning Department of the Ministry of National Development in 1967 as an architect planner. He eventually left the civil service to set up a private practice (Ong & Ong) with his wife and fellow architect, Ong Siew May in 1971. Ong entered politics in 1972 where he was elected as MP (Member of Parliament) for the Kim Keat constituency, a position he held for 21 years. He went on to hold portfolios in communications, culture and labour, and was appointed chairman of the PAP (1981), secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) (1983), second deputy prime minister in Lee Kuan Yew’s Cabinet (1985) and deputy prime minister in Goh Chok Tong’s cabinet (1990). He was also Singapore’s fifth and first-ever elected president in 1993. A man of great vision, he lobbied for the construction of a rail-based mass transport system (later known as SMRT), Changi Airport and the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Ong Teng Cheong died on 8 February 2002.