In what perhaps is a first, 92-year-old DMK Chief and former Chief Minister Karunanidhi of Tamil Nadu has managed to outlive all his predecessors by witnessing all of their funerals. 

 

Kalaignar M Karunanidhi (1924), head of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), has served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on five separate occasions. He has been the leader of the DMK since the death of its founder, C. N. Annadurai, in 1969.

 

As an individual, he holds the record of winning his seat in every election in a political career that has spanned over 60 years. Before he made the switch to politics, he was a former playwright and screenwriter for Tamil cinema. 

 

Who: Chakravarti Rajagopalachari

Age: 94 years

How many years he was the CM: 10 April 1952 – 13 April 1954

Cause of death: Uraemia, Dehydration and Urinary Infection

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1878-1972), informally called Rajaji, was politician, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India. He was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. In the 1952 Madras elections, the Indian National Congress was reduced to a minority in the state assembly with a coalition led by the Communist Party of India winning most of the seats. Though he did not participate, Madras governor Sri Prakasa appointed Rajagopalachari Chief Minister after nominating him to the Madras Legislative Council without consulting either the Indian Prime Minister Nehru or the ministers in the Madras state cabinet.

Who: Omandur Ramasamy Reddy

Age: 75 years

How many years he served as CM: 23 March 1947 – 6 April 1949

Cause of Death: Old age related ailments

Omandur Ramasamy Reddy (1895 – 1970) was an Indian freedom-fighter and politician of the Indian National Congress. He became the Chief Minister from 1947 to1949. During his tenure, the Madras Temple Entry Authorization Act 1947 was passed. This act was intended to give Dalits and other prohibited Hindus full and complete rights to enter Hindu temples. The Devadasi Dedication Abolition Act of 1947 put an end to the devadasi system that was in vogue in many Hindu temples. It was during Reddy's tenure that India achieved independence from the United Kingdom.

 

Who: Poosapati Sanjeevi Kumarswamy Raja

Age: 59 years

How many years he served as CM: 6 April 1949 – 10 January 1950

Cause of Death: Old age related ailments

Poosapati Sanjeevi Kumarswamy Raja (1898–1957) was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (Madras Presidency), from 1949 to 1952. The lives and writings of Annie Besant and Mahatma Gandhi. In 1919 he met Mahatma Gandhi for the first time and started following with great interest the events in Gandhi's life. 1932 He was arrested for disobeying the unjust laws. In 1934, Raja won central legislature for constituency comprising Tirunelveli, Madurai & Ramanathapuram. In 1936 he was M.L.A in C. Rajagopalachari ministry. He was also the Governor of Orissa from 1954 to 1956.

 

Who: Kumarasami Kamaraj

Age: 72 years

How many years he served as CM: from 1954 to 1957, from 1957 to 1962 and from 1962 to 1963, totally for three terms.

Cause of death: Died in his sleep due to massive heart attack

Kumarasami Kamaraj (1903-1975) was a leader of the Indian National Congress, widely acknowledged as the "Kingmaker" in Indian politics during the 1960s. He served as Congress president for four years between 1964-1967. Kamaraj was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu during 1954–1963 and a Member of Parliament during 1952–1954 and 1967–1975. He was known for his simplicity and integrity.

 

Who: Minjur Bhaktavatsalam

Age: 90 years

How many years he served as CM: from 1963 to 1967, for 1251 days

Cause of death: Died due to age related ailments

Minjur Bhaktavatsalam (1897–1987) was an Indian lawyer, politician and freedom fighter of Tamil Nadu. He served as the Chief Minister of Madras state from 1963 to 1967. He was the last congress Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to have taken part in the Indian independence movement. In 1962, the Indian National Congress won the assembly elections and formed the government in the state for the fifth time in 25 years. On Gandhi Jayanti day, 2 October 1963, Bhaktavatsalam took office as the Chief Minister of Madras, after Kamaraj resigned to spend more time as an office bearer of the Congress.

 

Who: Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai

Age: 60 years

How many years he served as CM: from 1967 to 1969 and from 14th January to 3rd February 1969, totally for 2 terms

Cause of death: Cancer in the Gullet

Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai (1909-1969), popularly called Anna was an Indian politician who served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 1967 to 1969. He was the first member of a Dravidian party to hold that post. As an ardent follower of Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, he rose in stature as a prominent member of the party. With differences looming with Periyar, on issues of separate independent state of Dravida Nadu Annadurai with his supporters parted from Dravidar Kazhagam and launched his own party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).  

Who: V.R. Nedunchezhiyan

Age: 80 years

How many years he served as CM: 3 february 1969 - 10 february 1969 and 24 december 1987 - 07 january 1988, for two terms

Cause of death:Heart failure

V.R. Nedunchezhiyan (1920–2000) was a former finance minister of the state of Tamil Nadu. He was also the acting chief minister of Tamil Nadu in two tenures in late sixties and late eighties. He was initiated into politics during his days at Annamalai University. He joined the Dravidar Kazhagam party in 1944, but, along with C. N. Annadurai, moved away to form the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in 1949. He died of heart failure in hospital on 12 January 2000.

Who: Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran

Age: 70 years

How many years he served as CM: 30 June 1977 – 17 February 1980 and 9 June 1980 – 24 December 1987, for two terms

Cause of Death: kidney failure, Diabetes, a mild heart attack and a massive stroke. 

Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran (1917-1987), popularly known as MGR, was an Indian actor and politician who served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for ten years between 1977 and 1987. He became a member of the C. N. Annadurai-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and rapidly rose through its ranks, using his enormous popularity as a film star to build a large political base. In 1972, three years after Annadurai's death, he left the DMK, now led by Karunanidhi. He became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the first film actor to become a chief minister in India. But for a six-month interregnum in 1980 when his government was overthrown by the Union government, he remained as chief minister till his death in 1987.

Who: Janaki Ramachandran

Age: 73 years

How many years served as CM: 7 January 1988 - 30 January 1988, 23 days

Cause of death: She died of a cardiac arrest 

Janaki Ramachandran (1923-1996), commonly known as V. N. Janaki, was an Indian Tamil actress and politician. In 1987, when her husband M. G. Ramachandran died, Janaki was asked by party members to take his place. She took his place as the Leader of the ADMK party, which subsequently split into two factions. Janaki Ramachandran became Chief minister in January 1988 soon after her husband's death, but her government lasted only 24 days, the shortest in the history of Tamil Nadu. She quit politics after the unification of the two factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Who:  Jayalalithaa

Age: 68 years

How many years she served as CM: She served for 5 terms: 24 June 1991 – 12 May 1996, 14 May 2001 – 21 September 2001, 2 March 2002 – 12 May 2006, 16 May 2011 – 27 September 2014 and 23 May 2015 – 5 December 2016

Cause of death: she suffered from infection and acute dehydration.

Jayalalithaa (1948- 2016) was an Indian actor and politician who served five terms as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, for over fourteen years between 1991 and 2016. From 1989 she was the general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a Dravidian party whose cadre revered her as their Amma (mother) and Puratchi Thalaivi (revolutionary leader), among other honorific. In 1991 Jayalalithaa became chief minister, Tamil Nadu's youngest, for the first time. The AIADMK returned to power in 2001, although Jayalalithaa was personally disbarred from contesting due to the corruption cases. Within a few months of her taking oath as chief minister, in September 2001, she was disqualified from holding office, and forced to cede the chair to her staunch loyalist O. Panneerselvam. Upon her acquittal six months later, Jayalalithaa returned as chief minister to complete her term. In the 2011 assembly election, the Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK and its allies routed the ruling, scandal-tainted DMK's alliance. Sworn in as chief minister for the fourth time, her government embarked on an ambitious programme of social welfare and development. However, three months into her tenure, a trial court convicted her in a disproportionate assets case in September 2014, rendering her disqualified to hold office. After eight months, which included a twenty-day stint in jail, Jayalalithaa was acquitted of all charges by the Karnataka High Court and once again sworn-in as chief minister in May 2015. In the 2016 assembly election, she became the first Tamil Nadu chief minister since MGR in 1984 to be voted back into office. That September, she fell severely ill and, following a 75-day period of hospitalisation, died on 5 December 2016 after failing to recover from a cardiac arrest.