Egypt’s Former President Hosni Mubarak Dies at 91
Egypt’s ousted former president, who died in a Cairo hospital on Tuesday, will be given military funeral
Egypt’s former long-time president Hosni Mubarak died Tuesday at age 91 at Cairo’s Galaa military hospital. His death was announced on state TV.
He had long been battling an illness and was recently admitted to an intensive care unit.
Alaa Mubarak tweeted that “this morning my father, President Mubarak, passed away.”
Mubarak was born in a rural village in the Nile Delta in 1928.
He joined the Egyptian air force in 1949, graduating as a pilot the following year. He rose through the ranks to become the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian air force in 1972.
He became a national hero the following year with reports that the Egyptian air force dealt a substantial blow to Israeli forces in Sinai during the Yom Kippur War.
From 1975 to 1981, Mubarak served as then-president Anwar Sadat’s vice president.
He took power as Egypt’s fourth president in October 1981 following Sadat’s assassination and remained head of state for three decades.
Under Mubarak’s 30-year rule, Egyptians lived under emergency laws that gave sweeping powers to the country’s security agencies.
As president, he survived multiple assassination attempts including one by Islamist militants in 1995 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
He was overthrown in February 2011 after 18 days of mass demonstrations amid the region’s Arab Spring protests.
His toppling came amid mounting popular anger triggered partly by rampant police brutality and parliamentary elections in 2010 that were widely slammed as rigged.
Mubarak faced multiple charges after his overthrow, including over the deaths of protesters in 2011 and corruption.
After years in jail defending himself in protracted trials and legal proceedings, he was freed in 2017 after being acquitted on most charges.
Mubarak left behind a complicated legacy. His rule was partly characterized by corruption, police brutality, political repression, and entrenched economic problems.
Egypt’s presidency said in a statement that it mourned the former president’s death as a “military leader and war hero” who “assumed command of the air force during the war that restored dignity and pride to the Arab nation.”
The Egyptian armed forces also described him as “a leader of the glorious October War.”
Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both expressed their condolences to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and to Mubarak’s family over the death of the country’s former leader, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas hailed Mubarak as a supporter of the Palestinian cause. A statement from Abbas’ office said he mourned the death “with great sorrow” and hailed the “late president’s positions in support of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people in achieving their freedom and independence”.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised Mubarak, saying that the late president “led his people to peace and security, to peace with Israel.”
“In the name of Israel’s citizens and government, I’d like to express deep sorrow over the passing of president Hosni Mubarak,” Netanyahu said, calling the long-serving Egyptian leader “my personal friend.”
A statement from the United Arab Emirates called Mubarak “a man of national and historical positions” and announced the lowering of flags for one day in all government ministries and institutions inside the country and its embassies and diplomatic missions abroad.
The UAE’s Presidential Affairs Ministry said that the Arab nation had lost “a prominent leader who devoted his life to the service of his homeland and the Arab nation” and noted Mubarak’s close and special relationship with the late Emir of Abu Dhabi and UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Mubarak is survived by his wife, Suzanne, sons Gamal and Alaa, and grandchildren Omar and Farida. Another grandson, Muhammad, preceded him in death.
He will be buried in a military funeral, but the timing has yet to be announced.