Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has died at the age of 91, the country’s state-run TV has announced. Egypt held a military funeral for Mubarak, with current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi briefly leading the funeral procession along with former Mubarak-era ministers, and Mubarak’s sons, Gamal and Alaa. The heavily guarded funeral was held in Al-Mosheer Tantawy Mosque. Sisi has also announced three days of national mourning to commemorate the former president.
According to the official announcement, Mubarak died at a Cairo hospital where he had undergone an unspecified surgery. Other than saying he had health complications, the report offered no other details. Over the years, reports disclosed that he was suffering from a variety of circulatory ailments and stomach cancer.
Hosni Mubarak was born in May 1928 in the Nile Delta town of Kafr-el Meselha. He graduated from Egypt’s national military academy at 21 and was the director of the air academy by 1966. The early success of Egyptian pilots against Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War won him acclaim and he was made vice president in 1975 by then-President Anwar Sadat.
On Oct. 14, 1981, President Sadat was assassinated by Islamic extremists while reviewing a military parade. Mubarak, who was seated next to Sadat, escaped with a minor hand injury. Eight days later, Mubarak was sworn in as president. He remained president for nearly 30 years.
During his tenure, Mubarak presented himself as the face of stability in the Middle East. He became one of the leading U.S. allies in the Middle East, receiving tens of billions of dollars in American military aid. His resignation came in 2011 after 18 days of nationwide protests by tens of thousands of young Egyptians in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and other city centers around the country. In the end, the military that long nurtured him pushed him aside on Feb. 11, 2011.