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Saddam Hussein's Death

Saddam Hussein

A violent man died a violent death.

Born to shepherds in central Iraq, but then sent away to live with an uncle because his father died, Saddam Hussein worked his way to the top in his country, becoming President in 1979 after taking control of the nation's Ba'ath Party.

He did some things to help Iraq, like nationalizing its oil industry in 1973, leading to a gusher of wealth. And he also instituted reforms to modernize the country's health care system, infrastructure and industrial base, while boosting education and subsidies to farmers.

But he also liked guns.

Saddam Hussein Guns Saddam Hussein Guns

And in 1980, he ordered the invasion of his neighbor Iran, which led to an all-out war and the use of chemical weapons. Hundreds of thousands of people died and the conflict ended in a stalemate.

In 1990, Saddam ordered the invasion of another oil rich partner, Kuwait, which led to intervention by the United States in the Gulf War. Six weeks later, the Iraqi troops were forced out of Kuwait, but Hussein retained power.

He was not as lucky when the U.S. – burned by the Nine Eleven terrorist attacks - invaded Iraq in March 2003, based on concerns that Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction, which were never found. Saddam escaped Baghdad but was captured in December 2003 in an underground bunker.

He also lost his two sons, the heir apparents in Iraq, in battles along the way.

Uday Hussein Uday Hussein Qusay  Hussein Qusay Hussein

Saddam was tried for crimes against humanity and was convicted on November 5, 2006. On December 30th, he went to the gallows.

He was buried the next day at his birthplace in Tikrit, Iraq.