History - On This Day - 11 August 1952 - Crown Prince Hussein became King of Jordan

After the abdication of his father King Talal of Jordan, Crown Prince Hussein
became King of Jordan on 11 August 1952.

Early life

Hussein bin Talal bin Abdullah bin Hussein bin Ali was born on 14 November
1935 in Amman, then a part of Transjordan.

He was a son of then Crown Prince Talal of Jordan and Princess Zein Al-Sharaf.
At that time, the royal family was poor, they could not afford heating in their

Hussein got his name from his great-grandfather, Hussein bin Ali
(Sharif of Mecca), who was the leader of the 1916 Arab Revolt against
the Ottoman Empire.It was said that Hussein was the 40th. direct descendant
of Muhammad through the Hashemite dynasty.

The young Prince Hussein started his education at the Victoria College in
Alexandria, Egypt. Then he went to Harrow School in England, where he
became a close  friend with King Faisal II of Iraq.

On 20 July 1951, Prince Hussein traveled to Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers
at the Al-Aqsa Mosque with his grandfather King Abdullah II, the founder
of modern Jordan.

King Faisal and King Hussein in 1957

Love and Marriage

King Hussein married four times:

1/ On 18 April 1955, he married Sharifa Dina bint Abdul-Hamid. She was
an Egyptian-born third cousin of King Hussein's father. The marriage was
arranged and they divorced in 1957.

2/ On 25 May 1961, he married Antoinette Gardiner, titled Princess Muna
Al-Hussein. She was an award-winning field hockey player. They divorced
on 21 December 1971.

3/ On 24 December 1972 he married Alia Baha ud-din Toukan, who became
Queen Alia Hussein. Jordan's international airport was named after her. She
died in an helicopter crash in Amman, Jordan in 1977.

4/ On 15 June 1978, he married Lisa Najeeb Halaby, who became famous as
Queen Noor Al-Hussein.


On 9 September 1951, King Talal appointed his son Hussein as
Crown Prince of  Jordan. His father ruled for less than thirteen months,
then he was forced to abdicate by the Parliament.
Hussein was proclaimed King on 11 August 1952 at the age of 17.

King Hussein of Jordan not only inherited the throne to Jordan but he inherited
also the West Bank which Jordan had annexed in the 1950's after the 1948
Arab-Israeli war.

When King Hussein started reigning, the country was poor in natural resources
and they had a large Palestinian refugee population.

However King Hussein's reign was marked by repeated efforts to make
peace in the region. He also concentrated on building an economic and
industrial infrastructure that would improve the quality of life of Jordanians.

During the 1960's Jordan's main industries were developed and a network of
highways was built throughout the Kingdom.

In June 1967, Jordan lost control of the West Bank in what was later known
as the Six-Day War. Many Palestinian refugees came to Jordan again.

Between 1963 and 1994, secret meetings were held with leading Israeli's for
a Peace treaty.

Personal life

King Hussein was an enthusiastic ham radio operator. He was popular in the
amateur radio community and he insisted that fellow operators refer to him
without his title.

King Hussein also was a trained pilot. He worked with both airplanes and
helicopters as an hobby.

He even collected motorcycles.


At the end of July 1998, it was made public that King Hussein was suffering
lymphatic cancer. On 7 February 1999, King Hussein died of complications
of Lymphoma. He had been the King of Jordan for 46 years and he was an
important actor in various Middle East conflicts.

King Hussein was succeeded by his eldest son King Abdullah II of Jordan.


"He won the respect and admiration of the entire world and so did his beloved
Jordan". Bill Clinton

"His death would be deeply mourned by all peace-loving people."
Nelson Mandela

"Lifelong struggle to bring peace" UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Source pictures: Wikipedia

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