1970: Egyptian strongman Nasser dies

Nasser died in September 1970 after 16 years as president of Egypt.

Egyptian strongman Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein

TODAY marks the 47th anniversary of the death of Egyptian strongman Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein, the second President of Egypt.

Nasser quickly became an iconic figure in the Arab world, after he led the 1952 overthrow of the monarchy and introduced far-reaching land reforms the following year.

His popularity in Egypt and the region world skyrocketed after his nationalization of the Suez Canal and his political victory in the subsequent Suez Crisis.

In 1962, Nasser began a series of major socialist measures and modernization reforms in Egypt.

He began his second presidential term in March 1965 after his political opponents were banned from running.

Following Egypt’s defeat by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, Nasser resigned, but he returned to office after popular demonstrations called for his reinstatement.

By 1968, Nasser had appointed himself prime minister, launched the War of Attrition to regain lost territory, began a process of depoliticizing the military, and issued a set of political liberalization reforms.

After the conclusion of the 1970 Arab League summit, Nasser suffered a heart attack and died.

His funeral in Cairo drew five million mourners and an outpouring of grief across the Arab world.

War Life