King Hussein of Jordan

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King Hussein of Jordan's Geni Profile

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Hussein bin Talal

Arabic: حسین بن طلال الهاشمي‎, ملك المملكة الأردنية الهاشمية
Also Known As: "Ḥusain bin Ṭalāl al-Hashimi"
Birthplace: Amman, Amman, Jordan
Death: Died in Amman, Amman, Jordan
Cause of death: non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Place of Burial: Amman, Amman, Jordan
Immediate Family:

Son of King Talal of Jordan and Zein Al Sharaf
Husband of HM Queen Noor of Jordan. and Alia Baha Ad-Din Touqan
Ex-husband of <private> Bint Abdul Hamid; <private> Al Hashimi (Al-Aoun) and Princess Muna of Jordan
Father of Prince Hamzah bin Hussein; <private> Al Hashimi; <private> Al-Hussein; Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, King of Jordan; <private> Al Hashimi (Hussein) and 8 others
Brother of <private> Al Hashimi; <private> Al Hashimi; <private> Al Hashimi; Prince Muhammad; Prince El Hassan and 3 others

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Immediate Family

About King Hussein of Jordan

Golden Fleece - Knights: Spanish Branch

  • Hussein bin Talal (Arabic: حسين بن طلال‎, Ḥusayn bin Ṭalāl; 14 November 1935 – 7 February 1999) was King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein's rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict.He recognized Israel in 1994, becoming the second Arab head of state to do so.

Hussein's family claims to descend from the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his clan.


  • In March 1956 Hussein was appointed the King of Jordan, and burnished his own nationalist credentials by dismissing Glubb “Pasha” as the commander of the Jordanian Army, and replacing all the British officers with Jordanians. This now mainly Bedouin army was fiercely loyal to him, due to tribal connections.

Hussein's rule was marred with secret collaboration with Israel and the United States, which often adversely affected the surrounding Arab States and peoples, including the Palestinians. Secret meetings between King Hussein and Israeli foreign ministers Abba Eban and Golda Meir began on or before 1963. At first the meetings took place in London at the home of Dr. Emanuel Herbert, King Hussein's physician. Dr. Herbert, a Jew who desired to help Hussein and the Israeli government became the confidential go-between for contact between Israel and Jordan. Jordan, sharing the longest contiguous border with Israel was very interested in maintaining a peaceful posture towards Israel. As Avi Shlaim states Hussein's "...purpose throughout the 1960s was to see if there was any way to resolve the dispute with Israel peacefully."

King Hussein sought to understand Israel's position and preferred dialogue to the futility of war with its many dangers. Much of this desire grows out of the threat from other Arab states, specifically the Ba'athist regimes in Iraq and Syria and Nasser's ideology of Arab nationalism which had heavily influenced the Army. The first secret meeting took place on September 24, 1963 between King Hussein and Yaacov Herzog, a diplomat with wide experience and special emissary of prime minister Levi Eshkol. Among other things such as discussions regarding water rights, the purpose of the meetings were to plan and support Israeli and Jordanian initiatives in combating Fatah guerrillas. Hussein accepted minor raids into Jordanian territory by the Israeli Defence Forces. He would later state "I told them I could not absorb a serious retaliatory raid, and they accepted the logic of this and promised there would never be one".

On Nov 13, 1966, Israeli military conducted a major incursion into Jordanian territory, violating their secret agreement with King Hussein, in what became known as the Samu Incident. Two days later, in response to the incident, in a memo to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, his Special Assistant Walt Rostow wrote: "retaliation is not the point in this case. This 3000-man raid with tanks and planes was out of all proportion to the provocation and was aimed at the wrong target," and went on to describe the damage done to US and Israeli interests:

They've wrecked a good system of tacit cooperation between Hussein and the Israelis... They've undercut Hussein. We've spent $500 million to shore him up as a stabilizing factor on Israel's longest border and vis-à-vis Syria and Iraq. Israel's attack increases the pressure on him to counterattack not only from the more radical Arab governments and from the Palestinians in Jordan but also from the Army, which is his main source of support and may now press for a chance to recoup its Sunday losses... They've set back progress toward a long term accommodation with the Arabs... They may have persuaded the Syrians that Israel didn't dare attack Soviet-protected Syria but could attack US-backed Jordan with impunity.

Perception of King Hussein's secret collaboration with Israel led to great dissatisfaction of his rule both at home and throughout the Arab World. President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt often referred to Hussein as "an "imperialist lackey". Army Commander-in-Chief General Sharif Zaid Ben Shaker warned in a press conference that "If Jordan does not join the war a civil war will erupt in Jordan".[8] In order to maintain credibility in the Arab world and maintain stability at home, on May 30, 1967, King Hussein signed a mutual defense treaty with Egypt, and handed over command of the Jordanian military to Egyptian generals.


Just before his death, Hussein made a change to his will, disinheriting the heir-apparent of several decades, his brother Hassan, in favor of his eldest son Abdullah. He abruptly returned to the U.S. clinic on 25 January 1999 for further treatment undergoing a failed bone marrow transplant after which he returned to Jordan.

On 7 February 1999 King Hussein died of complications related to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was, at the time of his death, one of the longest-serving leaders in international politics. He had been the King of Jordan for over 46 years and during which he was an important actor in various Middle East conflicts. Just prior to his death, during an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour Hussein expressed his opinion that a peaceful resolution would eventually be reached in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

King Hussein's funeral was held on February 8, 1999 in the presence of all five of his sons, foreign dignitaries and statesmen, and an estimated 800,000 Jordanians.[17][18] The UN General Assembly held an Emergency Special Session in "Tribute to the Memory of His Majesty the King of Jordan" on the same day. [edit] World tributes

   He won the respect and admiration of the entire world and so did his beloved Jordan. He is a man who believed that we are all God's children, bound to live together in mutual respect and tolerance. (US President, Bill Clinton)
   He was an extraordinary and immensely charismatic persuader for peace. At the peace talks in America when he was extremely ill, he was there, talking to both sides, urging them forward, telling them nothing must stand in the way of peace. (UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair)

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King Hussein of Jordan's Timeline

November 14, 1935
Amman, Amman, Jordan
January 30, 1962
Age 26
Amman, Jordan