Photo is of Sun Yat Sen statue beside the Chinese Cultural Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.|
Sun Yat-sen was born on November 12, 1866, to a peasant family in the village of Cuiheng, Xiangshan county , Guangzhou prefecture, Guangdong province (26 km or 16 miles north of Macau). When Sun Yat-sen died in 1925, the name of Xiangshan was changed to Zhongshan) in his honor.
After receiving a few years of local school, at age thirteen, Sun went to live with his elder brother, Sun Mei, in Honolulu. Sun Mei, who was fifteen years Sun Yat-sen's senior, had emigrated to Hawaii as a laborer and had become a prosperous merchant. Though Sun Mei was not always supportive of Sun's later revolutionary activities, he supported his brother financially, allowing Sun to give up his professional career.
Sun Yat-sen studied at the prestigious Iolani School where he learned English, mathematics and science. Originally unable to speak the English language, Sun Yat-sen picked up the language so quickly that he received a prize for outstanding achievement in English from King David Kalakaua. He became a citizen of the United States and was issued an American passport. It is unclear whether or not he maintained his original citizenship as a subject of the Qing empire. After graduation from Iolani School in 1882, Sun enrolled in Oahu College (now Punahou School, the same school that Barack Obama attended about 100 years later) for further studies for one semester. He was soon sent home to China as his brother was becoming afraid that Sun Yat-sen was about to embrace Christianity.
Revolutionary and political leader often referred to as the "Father of Modern China". Sun played an instrumental role in the eventual collapse of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. He was the first provisional president when the Republic of China (ROC) was founded in 1912 and later co-founded the Kuomintang (KMT) where he served as its first leader. Sun was a uniting figure in post-Imperial China, and remains unique among 20th-century Chinese politicians for being widely revered in both Mainland China and in Taiwan.
Although Sun is considered as one of the greatest people in modern China, his political life was one of constant struggle and frequent exile. After the success of the revolution, he quickly fell out of power in the newly-founded Republic of China, and led successive revolutionary governments as a challenge to the warlords who controlled much of the nation. Sun did not live to see his party bring about consolidation of power over the country. His party, which formed a fragile alliance with the Communists, split into two factions after his death. Sun's chief legacy resides in his developing a political philosophy known as the Three Principles of the People (nationalism, democracy, and the people's livelihood/welfare).