(born June 6, 1901, Surabaja, Java, Dutch East Indiesdied June 21, 1970, Jakarta, Indon.) First president of Indonesia (1949–67). Son of a Javanese schoolteacher, he excelled in languages, mastering Javanese, Sundanese, Balinese, and modern Indonesian, which he did much to create. He emerged as a charismatic leader in the country's independence movement. When the Japanese invaded in 1942, he served them as a chief adviser, while pressuring them to grant Indonesia independence. Immediately following Japan's defeat, he declared independence; the Dutch did not transfer sovereignty until 1949. Once he became president, Indonesia made gains in health, education, and cultural self-awareness, but democracy and the economy foundered. His government was corrupt, inflation soared, and the country experienced a continuous state of crisis. An attempted coup, purportedly by communists, in 1965 led to a military takeover by Suharto and a purge of alleged communists. Stripped of his power in 1966, Sukarno resigned in 1967 and lived under house arrest until his death.