Pauahi Pākī was born on December 19, 1831; she was the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I. Pauahi was hānai (adopted) to her aunt, Kīnaʻu (the eldest daughter of Kamehameha.) Lydia Liliʻu Kamakaʻeha (later Queen Lili‘uokalani) was hānai (adopted) to the Pākīs, who reared her with their birth daughter, Pauahi. The two girls developed a close, loving relationship.
In 1850, at the age of 19, Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop, a young American businessman. When her cousin, Princess Ruth Keʻelikōlani, died, Keʻelikōlani’s will stated gave all of her land to Pauahi – about 353,000 acres. Bernice Pauahi died childless on October 16, 1884. Through her will she founded Kamehameha Schools. Today, December 19, is Pauahi’s birthday; it is also known as Founder’s Day at Kamehameha Schools.