Hussein Abd al-Majid
of Iraq from 1979-2003, Saddam Hussein
waged war on his own nation's Shiite
and Kurdish populations, invaded
neighboring Iran and Kuwait, and
attempted to build up an arsenal of
nuclear, biological and chemical
weapons. This buildup, as well as his
ongoing difficulties with the United
States, resulted in the
in 2003 and his fall from power. After
his eventual capture and trial, Saddam
was put to death on December 30,
28, 1937 - Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid
al-Tikriti is born in a village near
Tikrit, north of Baghdad.
- Joins underground Baath Socialist
- Arrested for killing his
brother-in-law, a Communist. Spends six
months in prison. (The Baath and the
Communist Party were
7, 1959 - Saddam was part of a Baath
Party assassination team that ambushed
Iraqi dictator Gen. Abdel-Karim Kassem
in Baghdad, wounding him. Saddam,
wounded in leg, fled to Syria and then
8, 1963 - Returns after Baath takes
part in coup that overthrows and kills
30, 1968 - Becomes chief of internal
security under President Ahmed Hassan
al-Bakr, his cousin.
16, 1979 - Takes over as president from
al-Bakr, and launched a major purge of
Baath members, ordering nearly two
22, 1980 - Sends
troops into Iran; war lasts eight
28, 1988 - Uses chemical weapons
against Kurdish town of Halabja,
killing estimated 5,000
2, 1990 - Invades
Kuwait, but sees his army driven out by
U.S.-led coalition five months
20, 1996 - Orders killing of his two
sons-in-law who had defected to Jordan
but who foolishly returned to Baghdad
after receiving guarantees of
27, 2002 - Under U.N. threat of
"serious consequences," allows U.N.
weapons experts back into the
17, 2003 - Gets 48-hour deadline from
President George W. Bush to surrender
political power in Iraq and to go into
exile. The Invasion of Iraq began three
22, 2003 - Saddam's sons, Qusai and
Odai, are killed in a gunbattle with
American soldiers in northern
13, 2003 - Saddam is captured while
hiding in hole in ground near his
birthplace of Tikrit.
1, 2004 - Arraigned before judge,
rejects charges of war crimes and
19, 2005 - Saddam goes on trial with
seven co-defendants and is charged in
1982 killings of 148 Shiite Muslims.
The executions of the Shiites came
after an unsuccessful attempt to
assassinate him in Dujail.
1, 2006 - Admits ordering trial of 148
Shiites eventually executed, but
insists doing so was legal.
4, 2006 - Faces new criminal charges,
for second trial with six others, in
connection with brutal 1987-1988
crackdown on Kurds in northern Iraq.
19, 2006 - Hears prosecution demand
death penalty in closing arguments at
Dujail trial, saying he showed "no
mercy" in the killings of women and
5, 2006 - Saddam remained defiant as
the tribunal in the first trial
announced a guilty verdict and
sentences him to hang.
26, 2006 - Iraq's highest court rejects
appeal of conviction, saying Saddam
must be hanged within 30 days.
30, 2006 - Saddam is executed by
hanging at the age of 69.