Saddām Hussein ʻAbd al-Majīd al-Tikrītī (Often spelled Husayn or Hussain;
Arabic صدام حسين عبدالمجيد
التكريتي; born April 28, 1937 1) was President of Iraq from 1979 to 2003.
A leading member of the revolutionary Ba'ath Party, which espoused secular pan-Arabism, economic modernization, and socialism, Saddam (see 2 regarding names) played a key role in the bloodless 1968 coup that brought the party to power. As vice president under the frail and elderly General Ahmed Bakr, Saddam tightly controlled conflict between government departments and the armed forces at a time when many organizations
were considered capable of overthrowing the government by forging a repressive security apparatus. Meanwhile, Iraq's economy
grew at a rapid pace in the 1970s. 3
As president, he developed a pervasive personality cult, ran an authoritarian government, and maintained power through the devastating Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988) and the first Persian Gulf War (1991), which both corresponded with a sharp decline in living standards and the human rights situation. Saddam Hussein's government, in particular, engaged in harsh repression of movements that it deemed threatened
his rule, as well as of ethnic or religious groups that sought independence or autonomy, specifically the Kurdish and Shiite populations.
While he remained a popular hero among many disaffected Arabs for standing up to the West and for his staunch support for
the Palestinians,4 the United States and other members of the international community continued to view Saddam with deep suspicion following the 1991 Persian
Gulf War. Saddam was deposed by the U.S. and its allies, during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Captured by U.S. forces on December 13, 2003, he will stand trial under the Iraq Special Tribunal, established by the Iraq Interim Government.