AAP staff report
Bangkok/Washington (Oct. 14, 2016) — The Bureau of the Royal Household announced Thursday that His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand passed away at 3:52 p.m. Bankok time Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. He was 89-years-old and in the 70th year of his reign.
The announcement, posted online by the Royal Thailand Embassy in Washington, D.C., reported that King Bhumibol Adulyadej had been admitted to Siriraj Hospital for medical treatment on Oct. 3. He had been a patient at the hospital until his passing.
“Although every possible care had been given by the Committee of Royal Physicians, His Majesty’s condition had not been recovered, but further deteriorated,” the announcement said.
President Barack Obama on Thursday offered condolences to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, her children and grandchildren, and the people of Thailand on the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
“His Majesty the King was a close friend of the United States and a valued partner of many U.S. Presidents,” Obama said. “I had the honor of calling on His Majesty the King during my visit to Thailand in 2012, and recall his grace and warmth, as well as his deep affection and compassion for the Thai people.”
As the revered leader and only monarch that most Thais have ever known, Obama said King Bhumibol Adulyadej was tireless champion of development and demonstrated unflagging devotion to improving the standard of living of the Thai people.
“With a creative spirit and a drive for innovation, he pioneered new technologies that have rightfully received worldwide acclaim,” Obama said. “His Majesty leaves a legacy of care for the Thai people that will be cherished by future generations.”
He said the American people stand with the people of Thailand and mourn the King’s passing, and keep the Thai people in thoughts and prayers.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born on Dec. 5, 1927 at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. His father, Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla graduated from Harvard Medical School, and his mother, Royal Highness Somdej Phra Sri Nakarindra Boromrajajonnani graduated from Simmons College in Boston.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej became the ninth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty June 6, 1946. His reign ends at 70 years and 120 days — the longest in Thai history.
Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara survives King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The two married in 1950 and had four children, including Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, 65, who is in line to become to new King of Thailand.
U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry said that for over 70 years, King Bhumibol Adulyadej led Thailand with integrity and compassion, always mindful of the needs and aspirations of the Thai people.
“His Majesty the King was one of America’s most valued and trusted friends, and was the only monarch in history ever born in our country,” Kerry said. “The Bhumibol Adulyadej Square in the city of Cambridge, in my home state of Massachusetts, marks his birthplace and will remain an enduring memorial to the special bond he created between our peoples. He will be long remembered and will be deeply missed.”
U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Davies said King Bhumibol Adulyadej lived a long and glorious life. Americans celebrate him because he personified the close connection between our two nations and peoples, she said.
“We remember his remarkable compassion and generosity to those in need — in Thailand and around the world — including personal donations to Americans affected by natural disasters,” Davies said.
King Bhumibol loved jazz, and made the American musical genre his own, bringing joy to millions, he said. His innovative spirit as an inventor and progenitor of Royal Projects and his admiration and tireless devotion to the Thai people will be missed.
“Through his patience, perseverance, and selfless dedication to duty, King Bhumibol embodied Thailand’s Ten Kingly Virtues,” she said. “This beautiful and unique land is touched today by a great and profound loss. I and my fellow citizens mourn with our friends, the people of the Kingdom of Thailand, at this somber time.”
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (IL-8) said King Bhumibol’s selfless devotion to his countrymen and women inspired great love and affection among his people.
“I was born in Thailand and grew up in Southeast Asia, and in Congress I have consistently worked to advocate for my fellow Thai Americans and Asian American Pacific Islanders,” Duckworth said. “I will continue my efforts to strengthen our relationship with America’s oldest friend in Asia, Thailand, as we reflect on the life and legacy of King Bhumibol.”