1923 – Aug 1st 2005. 5th king
of Saudi Arabia
. Fahd moved Saudi Arabia closer to the United States
since his rule, however, ruling only as a figurehead after his stroke in 1995. Fahd died at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital
approximately 2:30 a.m. EDT, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh
, where he was admitted on May 27 for unspecified medical tests.
Fahd became the fifth king of Saudi Arabia on June 13, 1982, three years after two events that would fuel the rise of Islamic extremism
in Saudi Arabia. In 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
founded the Islamic Republic in Shiite Iran
and, in the same year, radical Muslims briefly took over the holy mosque in Mecca
, proclaiming the royal family not Islamic enough to rule.
"All our objectives in setting out to achieve the goals of an advanced society will not be fulfilled unless illiteracy is abolished throughout the land. We consider this one of the most important duties and responsibilities of ruling."
"We are active, fellow countrymen, in the wider international sphere within the framework of the United Nations. We are committed to the UN charter, we reinforce its endeavors. Our acts have reflected, and will continue to reflect, our sense of belonging to the world community."
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lends its full support to the efforts exerted to put an end to the Arab/Israeli conflict and to realize a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question that would establish justice and restore the legitimate rights and lay down a permanent basis for peace, security and stability."
- 1923: Born, son of King Abdul Aziz, founder of modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- 1945: Member of Saudi delegation at signing of U.N. Charter.
- 1953: Appointed country's first education minister, lays foundation for nationwide school system.
- 1962: Named interior minister.
- 1967: Becomes to second deputy prime minister.
- 1975: Anointed crown prince, becoming de facto ruler during illness of half-brother King Khaled.
- 1981: Proposes Mideast peace plan calling for Palestinian state in return for implicit acceptance of Israel, but Arab hard liners reject proposal at Arab League summit.
- 1982: Assumes throne at Khaled's death.
- 1988: Signs Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
- 1988: Initiates diplomatic efforts to end eight year Iraq Iran war.
- 1990: Signs border demarcation accord with Oman.
- 1990: Condemns Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and worked with U.S. led coalition to drive Iraqis out. Angers Islamic militants by allowing U.S. and other Western troops onto Saudi soil.
- 1993: Introduces new regulations for Council of Ministers.
- 1993: Hosts 14th Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Riyadh
- 1993: Donates $100 million for social services and utility projects for Palestinians in Gaza Strip and West Bank.
- 1993: Approves new Higher Education Council and universities system.
- 1994: Donates funds for restoration of Islam's third holiest shrine and two other mosques in Jerusalem.
- 1995: Suffers stroke; brother Crown Prince Abdullah takes over as day to day leader.
- Aug. 1, 2005: Fahd dies at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
King Fahd's Web site, Saudi Arabian Information Resource.