Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman Ya'akub was born on 3 January 1928 in Kampung Jepak, Bintulu, Sarawak. to Wan Ya'akub bin Wan Yusuf and Siti Hajar bt. Haji Mohd Tahir. Tun Abdul Rahman received his early education at Sekolah Melayu Anchi and Sekolah St. Joseph, Miri, Sarawak before continuing his secondary school education at the Madrasah Melayu, Kuching and later at Sekolah St. Joseph, Kuching until Form 5. , Tun went for his further studies from 1954 to 1959, at the Southampton University, England to earn a B.A (Law) (Hons) degree..
Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman Ya'kub began his career in 1948 as a Bumiputera Sarawak Probationary (cadet) Officer and he was later promoted as a Magistrate. From 1959 until 1963, Tun served as the Sarawak Legislative Officer before he resigned and became actively involved in politics. In 1963, Tun was entrusted to hold the position of Rural Development Junior Minister and later he was appointed as Junior Minister of Law in 1964. In 1965, Tun held the portfolio of full minister as the Minister of lands and Mines until 1969 and later as the Minister of Federal Education from 1969 until 1970.
In 1969, for the first time Sarawak held an election simultaneously with the national general election. During this election Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman was appointed candidacy by his party, Parti Bumiputera, founded through a merger between Parti Barisan Rakyat Jati Sarawak (BERJASA) and Parti Negara Sarawak (PANAS) to run for both a State Assembly as well as Parliamentary seats. Tun won both the Payang Parliamentary seat as well as Kuala Rajang State Assembly seat. On 7 July 1970, Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman was appointed the Sarawak Chief Minister the post he held for 11 years until 1981. He was later appointed the Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Dipertua Negeri Sarawak in August 1980. Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman was the eminent figure from Sarawak appointed by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra in an effort to convince the people of Sarawak, and thus to garner the full supports of the Sarawakians in the formation of Malaysia. Tun was among the politicians who devoted himself to the nation and played a significant role in the establishment of Malaysia.
Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul Rahman is also a was also actively involved in religious activities. Among others, he was the Chairman of the Al-Quran recital competition for 3 years (1968-1971). Tun was also appointed the Yang DiPertua of BINA (Angkatan Nahdatul Islam Bersatu Sarawak) from 1969 to 1986, a Supreme Council member of RABITAH ALAM ISLAMI (Muslim World League, Makkah) and a member of Muslim World Congress, Karachi Pakistan. This personage who contributed greatly to the country received numerous medals and honorary titles which include Panglima Negara Bintang Sarawak (P.N.B.S), Datuk Patinggi Bintang Kenyalang (D.P) and Darjah Utama Bintang Paduka Seri Sarawak (D.P.S.S).
Ceremonial Personage of Historical Narration on the Establishment of Malaysian from the Sarawak Perspective,
16 October 2008,
at the Pustaka Negeri Sarawak