The key events in the career of Sun Yixian (or Sun Yat-sen) were his exile as a result of coup plotting, his election as the first president of the Republic of China and his election as the first leader of Kuomintang. History remembers him as a revolutionary and the father of modern China.
Sun Yixian was born in 1866. He studied as a doctor and started practicing before becoming involved in revolutionary activities. This began in earnest in 1894, and resulted in his exile for 19 years in 1895. He spent time in Europe, Japan and the United States, before being able to return to China in 1911. This was after a successful coup that ended the monarchy.
On his return he was elected the provisional president of the Republic of China. This is why he is known as the father of modern China - he was essentially its first president. The leadership of the country was taken over by Yuan, who turned the office into a dictatorship. Sun Yixian tried unsuccessfully to overthrow him, and ended up in Japan again reorganizing the Kuomintang. He returned to China in 1917 and was then elected to president of the Kuomintang in 1919, a position that he kept until 1925, the year of his death.