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Hussein, Saddam (1937–)

Saddam Hussein is the dictator of Iraq, a position he attained and maintains through the use of state terror. He has also sponsored international terrorism for almost 30 years.

Personal History

Hussein was born on April 28, 1937, in the village of Al Auja, near the town of Tikrit, in northern Iraq. His father appears to have died before his birth, and he was raised by his mother, Subha, and stepfather, Ibrahim Hassan. The family was poor, and relations between Hussein and his stepfather seem to have been strained; Hussein did not attend school until he left home at age 10, when he went to live with his maternal uncle, Khayrallah Tulfah, in Baghdad. Khayrallah, a schoolteacher and former Army officer, became a significant influence in his life.

A mediocre student, Hussein failed the entrance exam for the Baghdad military academy in the mid-1950s. He ...

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