King Yu of Xia of China, born Si Wen Ming, often called Da Yu ("Yu the Great"). Yu was the legendary first Chinese monarch of the Xia Dynasty, considered the founder of the dynasty. Occasionally identified as one of The Three August Ones and the Five Emperors, he is best remembered for teaching the people flood control techniques to tame China's rivers and lakes.
Yu's father, Gun, was assigned by Yao to regulate the floods but was so unsuccessful in his attempt that he was executed by the later ruler Shun. Recruited as a successor to his father, Yu began dredging new river channels as outlets, spending a back-breaking thirteen years and some 20,000 workers in the task.
Yu is remembered as an example of perseverance and determination. He is revered as the perfect civil servant. Stories abound about his work in flood techniques taking such importance to him that he bypassed his house three times in thirteen years but never went in — reasoning that a family reunion would take his time and mind away from the flood control problem.
Shun was so impressed by Yu's efforts that he passed the throne to him instead of his own son.