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Thai unifying figure leaves lasting legacy

It was under King Bhumipol that Thailand moved from a mostly agricultural economy to a modern one of industry and commerce and a growing middle class.

In a political crisis, Thais admired him for his shrewd sense of when to intervene, sometimes with only a gesture, to defuse it, even though he had only a limited constitutional role and no direct political power.

KING Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who took the throne of the kingdom once known as Siam shortly after World War II and held it for more than 70 years, establishing himself as a revered personification of Thai nationhood, died on Thursday in Bangkok. He was 88 and one of the longest-reigning...

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