Hosni Mubarak, who became Egypt’s longest-serving ruler in more than 150 years before being forced from office by a popular uprising, has died. He was 91.
Mubarak’s passing was announced Tuesday by state media, with the presidency later describing him as a hero of the nation’s 1973 war against Israel. No cause of death was given, although his family said in January he’d undergone surgery and was in intensive care in the hospital.
Dubbed the “pharaoh” by his detractors, Mubarak had ruled for 30 years and was widely accepted to be preparing his younger son Gamal as successor when the Arab Spring surged into Cairo in January 2011. After 18 days of mass protests, he was gone, his image of an all-powerful ruler shredded.
Mubarak attended his trial for the killing of more than 850 protesters by security forces in the final days of his regime in a hospital bed and faced other serious charges, but was only found guilty of fraud and avoided serving additional time in jail. In photographs, a man famously known for jet-black dyed hair and swagger was seen seated, tired and graying.
The statement by the presidency, and another from the armed forces, were a stark contrast to the response of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s administration to the death of Mubarak’s Islamist successor, Mohamed Mursi, last year.
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