Bal Keshav Thackeray (1926-2012), popularly known as Balasaheb Thackeray, is the founder and chief of the Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist, Marathi ethnocentric and populist party active mainly in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.
He started his career as a cartoonist in the Free Press Journal in Mumbai in the 1950s. His cartoons were also published in the Sunday edition of The Times of India. In 1960, he launched a cartoon weekly - 'Marmik' - with his brother. He used it to campaign against the growing influence of non-Marathi people in Mumbai, specifically targeting South Indian labourers.
He formed the Shiv Sena on June 19th, 1966, with the intent of fighting for the rights of the natives of Maharashtra (called Maharashtrians). The early objective of the Shiv Sena was to ensure job security for Maharashtrians against immigrants from other parts of India.
The Shiv Sena chief was admitted to Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on 25 July, 2012, after he complained of breathlessness. He was discharged once he recovered after treatment. However, by late October, his illness came was back to haunt him. He passed away soon after, on November 17, 2012, at 3:30 p.m.