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Biographical entry Hussein Bin Talal, HM King Hussein of Jordan (1935 - 1999)

Hon FRCS 1987.

14 November 1935
Amman, Jordan
7 February 1999
Member of the Jordanian Royal Family


The third ruler of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was born in Amman on 14 November 1935, the son of Crown Prince Talal and Princess Zain. It was a time when the newly created state of Jordan subsisted on a grant from Britain, and was ruled by his grandfather, King Abdullah, who was assassinated by a Palestinian on 20 July 1951. The crown passed to his father, who was already developing schizophrenia. Hussein was sent to Harrow, where his cousin King Faisal II of Iraq was already a pupil. He enjoyed being treated as a normal young man and displayed considerable spirit at rugby, but his father Talal was forced to abdicate and Hussein was declared King in August 1952. He spent a few months at Sandhurst to learn the rudiments of soldiering and on his return to Amman he moved quickly; he appointed a liberal prime minister and held relatively free elections. Thereafter, the continued survival of his nation largely depended on his political and diplomatic skills; he was the target of more than a dozen assassination attempts. He was unusually modest and had a sense of humour, but was not afraid to exercise his courage and determination. He disinherited his brother Hassan, the Crown Prince, in favour of his son, Prince Abdullah. He was married four times. He developed carcinoma of the prostate for which he underwent treatment at the Mayo Clinic. He died on 7 February 1999, aged 63.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 8 February 1999].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England