Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman bin Faisal bin Turki Al Saud was born in 1343 H / 1924 G and died on Rabi’ al-thani 3rd, 1436 H / January 23rd, 2015 G. His father is King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud, the unifier and founder of the third Saudi Arabian State. His maternal uncles were tribal leaders of Shammar tribes. His maternal grandfather is Al Assi bin Kolayb bin Hamdan bin Shoraim, a brilliant Arab knight and one of Abdah leaders from Shammar tribes, and so was his maternal uncle Motni bin Al Assi bin Shoraim.
King Abdullah was raised by his father King Abdulaziz Al Saud. Growing up by his father’s side, he gained a firsthand view into the practice of governance, politics, administration and leadership. King Abdullah was educated by a set of select teachers and scholars and acquired a broad understanding – through extensive reading – of various fields of knowledge, culture and civilization.
Since his early years, King Abdullah was known for his religious commitment, ethical discipline, commanding presence, influence and rationality. These are the traits that characterized his personality throughout his life and until his death. During his youth, he also witnessed the most important political developments that followed the unification of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which earned him a broad understanding of historical issues and in-depth experience in governance affairs, politics and international relations given his proximity to his father King Abdulaziz. That historic period’s events were etched in his mind, and it was a period fraught with tribal and intellectual conflicts in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as a time of political developments in the Arab world and in the entire world during the two world wars. In addition to these major life experiences, other influential factors that reinforced his personality as a leader were his broad cultural education, acquired through his love of reading (his favorite pastime), as well as his love for the desert and horse-riding, which fostered in him spiritual purity and a noble knight’s ethic.
King Abdullah held many political, military and economic posts in addition to his patronage and presidency (both actual and honorary) of many official bodies and institutions. Among these posts were: Chairman of the Supreme Economic Council, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Petroleum and Mineral Affairs, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Disabled Affairs, President of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Foundation for Developmental Housing (dedicated to his parents), President of the Equestrian Club, and President of King Abdulaziz and his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (MAWHIBA).
In 1383 H / 1962 G, he became Commander of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, which included, in its early years at that time, the sons of the men who had actively worked and contributed alongside their leader King Abdulaziz to uniting and building the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As leader of this military institution, King Abdullah effectively developed and modernized it. In 1395 H /1975 G, he became Second Deputy Prime Minister while remaining Head of the National Guard. On Sunday Shaaban 21st, 1402 H, corresponding to June 13th, 1982 G, the Royal Family, scholars, major figures in the country, and the public declared him Crown Prince. On the same evening, a royal decree was issued appointing him as Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard in addition to his position as Crown Prince.
On Monday Jumada II 26th, 1426 H, corresponding to August 1st, 2005 G, the Royal Family and the Saudi people declared His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as King of the State, according to Article V of the Basic Law of Governance (Saudi Constitution).
After struggling with illness, King Abdullah passed away in the early hours of Friday, Rabi’ al-thani 3rd, 1436 H, corresponding to January 23rd, 2015 G, after a reign full of achievements and amidst an outpouring of love from people around the world for Abdullah the King and the man, who had always been close to them.