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Paul Kruger

Stephanus Johannes Paul Kruger (October 10, 1825 - July 14 1904), a.k.a. "Oom" (Uncle) Paul, was born in the Cape Colony into a family of Prussian descent. He was a prominent Boer resistance leader against British rule and became a became the first president of the Transvaal Republic on December 30, 1880. He was chosen as president four times, the last time in 1898.

He went to England in 1883 to revise the Pretoria Convention of 1881, the agreement between the Boers and the English that ended the first Boer war.

On October 11, 1899, the second Boer war started. In October 1900, he left South Africa by the battleship De Gelderland, sent by the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina. His wife, Gezina Kruger, was very ill at that moment, and could not go with him. She died on July 20, 1901. Kruger went to Marseille and stayed for a while in The Netherlands, before moving to Clarens in Switzerland, where he died on July 14, 1904. He was buried on December 16, 1904 in the Church Street cemetery, Pretoria.

The Kruger National Park is named after him, as is the Krugerrand coin, which features his face, and the Oom Paul pipe, named after the style of pipe he smoked.

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