Saddam, means "he who fights," was born in al-Auja, on the outside of Tikrit in Iraq. It is believed that post birth his father disappeared. Saddam's mother married again to a man who was illiterate and brutal. Saddam did not want to live with this man and urged him mother to let him stay with his uncle Khairullah Tulfah.
At 18, Saddam graduated and applied for military school. Being a part of military had been Saddam's fascination, but he could not clear the entrance exam. Saddam then moved to Baghdad and began high school, but he never like school work.
Saddam's uncle, a devoted Arab nationalist, introduced him to the politics world. At that time Iraq was struggling with internal power struggles. One of the communities vying for power was the Baath Party. Saddam's uncle had an association with the party.
In 1957, at the age of 20, Saddam became the member of Baath Party. Started as a low profile member, in 1959, he was selected to be a part of an assassination squad. On October 7, 1959, Saddam and group attempted, but could not succeed, to assassinate the prime minister. Wanted by the Iraqi government, Saddam fled. He stayed in exile in Syria for nearly three months and then shifted to Egypt where he lived for three years.
In 1963, the Baath Party overturned the government and took over the power which enabled Saddam to come back to Iraq. After coming home he married his cousin, Sajida Tulfah. However, the Baath Party was also overthrown after nine months and Saddam was arrested in 1964 after another coup attempt. He was lodged for 18 months in prison, where he was tortured and finally escaped in July 1966.
In the following two years Saddam emerged as an important leader within the Baath Party. In July 1968, Baath Party came into power and was appointed as vice-president. On July 16, 1979, the president of Iraq stepped down and Saddam officially took the position.
Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq very brutally. He used terror to stay in power. From 1980 to 1988, Saddam headed Iraq in a war against Iran which ended in a deadlock.
During the 1980s, Saddam applied chemical artilleries against Kurds in Iraq. In 1990, Saddam ordered Iraqi soldiers to take the country of Kuwait. The United States defended Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War. On March 19, 2003, America attacked Iraq. Saddam fled to Baghdad.
US forces arrested Saddam Hussein, who was living in a hole in al-Dwar, near Tikrit on December 13, 2003. After a trial, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death and was executed on December 30, 2006.