One of the most horrific dictators of the 20th Century, Saddam ascended to the presidency of Iraq on a wave of purges and killings.
Once in power, his reign was marked by almost constant war.
In 1980, his regime invaded Iran, triggering an eight-year conflict between the two countries.
Then, in 1991, he invaded the small oil-rich nation of Kuwait, prompting the intervention of American and UN forces.
After the attacks of September 11, Hussein was declared one of America’s primary enemies by the George W. Bush administration, for his supposed links to organized terror and “weapons of mass destruction.”
In 2003, American and British forces invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam.
The new Iraqi government put him on trial for war crimes, and in 2006 he was executed.