Lhendup Dorji : biography
Dasho Lhendup Dorji (6 October 1935 – 15 April 2007) was a member of the powerful and respected Dorji family of Bhutan. He served as acting Lonchen (Prime Minister) following the assassination of his brother, Lonchen Jigme Palden Dorji, on April 5, 1964. Following a national power struggle, he and other members of his family were exiled in 1965.Bhutan - World Statesmen Retrieved on June 5, 2007 He was allowed to return in 1974.
Dorji was born to Gongzim Raja Sonam Tobgay Dorji and Rani Chuni Wangmo on October 6, 1935 at Bhutan House, Kalimpong, India. He became the first Bhutanese to study in the United States attending Cornell University, which he graduated from in 1959.APFA News Retrieved on June 3, 2007 Dorji excelled in athletics, such as boxing, golf, and tennis. He returned to Bhutan from the United States and started out measuring land. He spent months traveling around Bhutan calculating the terrain by hand using the most readily available measuring systems. He later served as Postmaster General, Paro Thrimpon, Deputy and later Secretary General of the country's Development Wing.Kuensel Online Retrieved on June 5, 2007
Lhendup had a mischievous sense of humour, and enjoyed playing practical jokes on his friends. He often laughed and smiled. He liked to go walking, and enjoyed going to horse races. He was a gracious host, with friends dropping by to visit and chat around his kitchen table at any time of day. He is referenced by Shirley MacLaine in her book, "Don't Fall Off the Mountain", which documents a visit she made to Bhutan during which she met him. Lhendup also sometimes made his own approximation of Bhutanese curry. In spite of his exile, Lhendup remained in frequent contact with his family and home.
Dorji's nephew, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, went on to become the fourth Dragon King of Bhutan. On April 15, 2007 he died after a battle with cancer.
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