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King Hussein of Jordan
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Monarch
    (November 14, 1935-February 7, 1999)
    Born in Amman, Jordan
    King of Jordan (1952-99)
    His name was similar to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's.
    He was a chain smoker.
    His first marriage, to his distant cousin Dina Hamid, ended in divorce after 18 months.
    He was subsidized by the CIA for 20 years (1957-77).
    He allied with Egypt and Syria in the Six Day War with Israel, causing his country to lose East Jerusalem and the West Bank (1967).
    During the Gulf War (1991), he called air strikes against Iraq 'a war against all Arabs and Muslims.'
    Shortly before his death, he wrote a bitter letter to his brother, Hassan, replacing him as heir to the throne with his son Abdullah.
    He became king at age 16.
    He survived twelve assassination attempts and seven plots to dethrone him.
    He and his third wife Alia adopted a Palestinian refugee whose mother had been killed in a plane crash (1976).
    He signed a peace treaty with Israel that he called his 'crowning achievement.' (1994)
    He wept at the funeral of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who he called 'a brother, a colleague and a friend.'
    He knelt to offer condolences to Israel families who had lost children in a terrorist attack that occurred on Jordanian soil (1997).
    He left chemotherapy sessions at the Mayo Clinic to attend a peace summit and coax Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to reach the next phase in their accord (October, 1998).

Credit: C. Fishel


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