Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yussuff Izzuddin Shah Ghafarullahu-lah, GCB, KStJ was the 34th Sultan of Perak and was the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Supreme Head of State, equivalent to High King) of Malaysia from 26 April 1989 to 25 April 1994. The child of a royal father and commoner mother, he grew up in Perak, Malaysia. During school he played field hockey, subsequently playing for the Perak team. He trained to be a lawyer in the United Kingdom. Upon returning to Malaysia, he soon became a judge and quickly rose through the legal ranks. In 1965, he became the youngest person appointed to the High Court of Malaya, and in 1982 he became the youngest ever Lord President of the Federal Court, the country's highest judicial rank.
After his uncle died in 1984, Azlan Shah became the Sultan of Perak. He became the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (elected king) of Malaysia in 1989, serving a five-year term before returning to his post as Sultan of Perak. In 2009, he exercised his royal authority to prevent the dissolution of the Perak Legislative Assembly, sparking a constitutional crisis. Ultimately, the legal system ruled Sultan Azlan had acted properly.
During his career, Sultan Azlan Shah was awarded more than 3 dozen Malaysian and foreign honours. Dozens of buildings and other projects were named after him, including a genus of insects. He was known as the "Father of Malaysian Hockey" for furthering field hockey at home and abroad, and was the patron of dozens of organisations. With his wife Tuanku Bainun Binti Mohd Ali, Sultan Azlan had five children.