Known as the "Merry Monarch," this nineteenth-century Hawaiian regent was actually elected to his position by the people and legislature of Hawaii following the death of King Lunalilo (who had, himself, ascended to the throne through popular vote following the passing of King Kamehameha V).
In his younger years, Kalakaua took law classes and headed a political group called The Young Hawaiians. He later held office as Hawaiian Postmaster General.
His full birth name was David La'amea Kamanakapu'u Mahinulani Nalaiaehuokalani Lumialani Kalakaua.
The biological son of High Chief and Chieftess Caesar Kaluaiku Kapa'akea and Analea Keohokalole, he was raised primarily by guardians named Keaweamahi Kinimaka and Ha'aheo Kaniu.
His marriage to Queen Kapi'olani produced no children; therefore, his younger sister, Liliuokalani, became queen following his death.