Died: 1 August 2005
Birthplace: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (then Arabia)
Best known as: Ruler of Saudi Arabia, 1982-2005
King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud led the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1982 to 2005. His father, King Abdud Aziz Al Saud, founded Saudi Arabia in 1932. Fahd was the eldest of Abdul Aziz's sons with Fahd's mother, Hassa bint Ahmadi al-Sudayri. (These powerful siblings are sometimes called the "Sudayri seven.") Fahd spent much of his adult life in government and diplomatic posts: he was made Saudi education minister in 1953, then later became minister of the interior and second deputy prime minister. Fahd was made crown prince and deputy prime minister of the kingdom in 1975 and succeeded his brother Khalid as monarch in 1982. As king he was known for knitting close ties with the United States while also taking an active role in Middle East politics, especially in Lebanon and as a supporter of the Palestinian struggle with Israel. His decision to have U.S. troops deployed in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 was controversial within the Arab world. A serious stroke in 1995 forced Fahd to cede much of his power to his half-brother and eventual successor, Crown Prince Abdullah. Fahd died in 2005.
Extra credit: Fahd was the fifth king of Saudi Arabia, after Abdul Aziz (1932-53), Saud (1953-64), Faisal (1964-75), and Khalid (1975-82). Saud, Faisal, Khalid and Fahd all were sons of Abdul Aziz... Some sources list Fahd's birth year as 1921... There are many variations the spelling of his name in English and other languages, including Fahd Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud and Abdul Aziz al Sa'oud.
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