The Sakya school was founded in 1073CE, when Khön Könchog Gyalpo (Tibetan: འཁོན་དཀོན་མཆོག་རྒྱལ་པོ།, Wylie: 'khon dkon mchog rgyal po; 1034–1102), a member of Tibet’s noble Khön family, established a monastery in the region of Sakya, Tibet, which became the headquarters of the Sakya order. Since that time, its leadership has descended within the Khön family.
The 41st Sakya Trizin, whose reign spanned more than fifty years, was the longest reigning Sakya Trizin. The current Sakya Trizin is the 42nd Sakya Trizin Ratna Vajra Rinpoche, officially known as Kyabgon Gongma Trizin Rinpoche. 
Khön family, the royal generation Because previous generations subjugated the rakshasas (demons), the family became the Family of Conquerors (Wylie: khon gyi dung, shortened to Khön) and therefore a royal family.
On 11 December 2014, a new throne holder succession system was announced during the 23rd Great Sakya Mönlam prayer festival on a resolution passed by the Dolma Phodrang and Phuntsok Phodrang, where members of both Phodrang will serve the role of Sakya Trizin in one three year term, according to their seniority and qualification.