Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud died early Friday and his brother Salman has became king.
Abdullah had been in a hospital for several weeks suffering from a lung infection. The royal court said in January that Abdullah was suffering from pneumonia.
He was believed to be 90.
Abdullah was the son of Ibn Saud, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia.
The powerful U.S. ally joined Washington’s fight against al-Qaida and worked to modernize the Muslim world.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Abdullah’s Brother Salman Is The New King
Abdullah’s brother Salman, 79, has become the new king of Saudi Arabia. The former Crown Prince had recently assumed the duties of his ailing brother.
Salman’s government experience dates back to the 1950s. He was the governor of Riyadh Province from 1963-2011.
2. Abdullah Officially Became King in 2005
Abdullah became king when his half-brother, King Fahd, died in 2005. Abdullah had assumed most of the control when Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995.
Abdullah maintained a strong relationship with the United States throughout his tenure.
Abdullah sought to help modernize Saudi Arabia. Women will have the power to run and vote in municipal elections beginning this year. The country now also competes in the Olympic Games.
3. Abdullah Was One of The Richest Royals in The World
Abdullah’s net worth was estimated at roughly $21 billion a few years ago by Forbes, which at the time made him one of the richest royals in the world.
Though in recent years, his net worth hadn’t been disclosed by Forbes. It has been reported to be between $17-18 billion, but the exact figure hasn’t been confirmed.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s No. 2 exporter of oil and has a $777 billion economy.
In 2014, Forbes ranked King Abdullah as the 11th most powerful person in the world.
4. Abdullah Was Known For His Philanthropy
Abdullah had donated millions of dollars for multiple causes worldwide.
He gave over $50 million to help in the recovery after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China and also $300,000 to help rebuild a school in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit.
Abdullah also donated $500 million to the United Nations World Food Program and $10 billion to the endowment fund of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
He also formed a scholarship program that sent tens of thousands of young Saudi men and women to study at Western universities.
5. Abdullah Had at Least 10 Wives & 20 Children
Abdullah kept no more than 4 wives at once, which is Islamic law, but was married at least 10 times.
He fathered at least 7 sons. Almost all of the sons have powerful positions in government.
Abdullah also has at least 15 daughters.
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