Synman Rhee (1875-1965) was the first and last Head of State of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea and the President of South Korea from 1948-1960.
He spent his early life as a Korean revolutionary, with his focus shifting to the Korean independence movement after Japanese occupation. Much of this period was spent in effective exile including while obtaining degrees from George Washington University and Harvard University before ultimately becoming the first Korean to receive a doctorate from an American University from Princeton University in 1910.
He played key roles in Korean provisional governments in exile including acting president and then the official president of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea from 1919-1925.
In 1947 he was elected to serve as Speaker of the South Korean Constitutional Assembly and played a leading role in creating South Korea's first constitution before being elected as President of the Republic of Korea in 1948.
He remained in office through the duration of the Korean War before resigning from office in 1960 as a result of demonstrations leading to the April Revolution. He spent his last years in exile in Hawaii.