Soekarno was the leader of his country's struggle for Independence from the Netherlands. He was a prominent leader of Indonesia's nationalist movement during the Dutch colonial period, and spent over a decade under Dutch detention until released by the invading Japanese forces. Soekarno and his fellow nationalists collaborated to garner support for the Japanese war effort from the population, in exchange for Japanese aid in spreading nationalist ideas. Upon Japanese surrender, Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta declared Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945, and Soekarno was appointed as first president. He led Indonesians in resisting Dutch re-colonization efforts via diplomatic and military means until the Dutch acknowledgment of Indonesian independence in 1949. Author Pramoedya Ananta Toer once wrote "Soekarno was the only Asian leader of the modern era able to unify people of such differing ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds without shedding a drop of blood."
- He was born on June 6 1901, in Surabaya of a Javanese father and Balinese mother.
- He was fondly remembered for his persistence in promoting world peace, and fair and equal international cooperation – notably as an inspiration for the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
- He was the first president of Indonesia, a nationalist leader, and a demagogue. He was the founder of the Republic of Indonesia and a dominant figure throughout its history until his death.