Syngman Rhee, hardline anti-communist and pro-American, was president of South Korea from 1948 to 1960.
Rhee’s government was characterised by authoritarianism, limited economic development, and growing public opposition.
After his opponent died, and Rhee won an uncontested election in March 1960, the opposition rejected the result. Protests escalated into the student-led April Revolution when police shot demonstrators, forcing Rhee to resign.
After Rhee’s resignation authoritarianism continued in South Korea until 1988.