King of Saudi Arabia 1982–2005 The fourth son of Abd‐al‐Aziz ibn Saud to become King, he was Minister of Education (1953–62) and Minister of the Interior (1962–75) before becoming Crown Prince to his brother, King Khalid. A playboy in his youth, he was regarded as progressive. Nevertheless, he maintained the country's religious and social conservatism, and focused his energies on dealing with an economy that was badly damaged by the decline in oil prices during the 1980s. He was much criticized at home and in the Arab world for his moderation against Israel, but the good relations with the West which this yielded stood him in good stead as the country was threatened by a spillover of the Iran–Iraq War. Even more importantly, he was able to rally US support to defend him against Saddam Hussein's aggression in the Gulf War. Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995, whereupon his power effectively passed on to his half‐brother, Abdullah Bin‐Abd‐al‐Aziz Al‐Saud.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).