Following is the chronology of the life of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who according to Iraqi media reports was executed early Saturday.
He was born April 28, 1937, in the village of Uja, close to the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit. Milestones in the life of the 69-year-old include:
1957 - After leaving school Saddam joins the revolutionary pan-Arab Baath party.
1959 - Takes part in a failed assassination attempt on then Iraqi leader General Abdul-Karim Qassim. Flees Iraq and spends a number of years in exile in Syria and Egypt.
1962-1969 - Studies law in Cairo and Baghdad interrupted by a three-year prison sentence for his part in an attempt to overthrow then president Abdul Salim Karif. In 1968 the Baath party seized power in Iraq, Saddam rising within its ranks to become party secretary general in 1979.
July 16, 1979 - Saddam becomes Iraqi president and head of government.
Sep 22, 1980 - Begins Iran-Iraq War with airstrikes against Iran. Conflict lasts until Aug 20, 1988.
March 16, 1988 - Around 5,000 Kurds die in a poison gas attack by the Iraqi army on the city of Halabja.
Aug 2, 1990 - Iraq invades neighbouring Kuwait.
Jan 17, 1991 - International troops led by the US begin the Gulf War against Iraq to liberate Kuwait. Allied forces move to within 150 miles of Baghdad before US President George Bush declares a ceasefire.
March 1991 - Saddam brutally represses a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq and a Shia rebellion in the south.
Feb 23, 1996 - Two of Saddam's sons-in-law who defected to Jordan killed after returning to Baghdad. Saddam had given assurances that they were in no danger.
March 17, 2003 - A deadline imposed by the US, Britain and Spain for Saddam to restore cooperation with UN weapons inspectors expires.
March 20, 2003 - The US-led Operation Iraqi Freedom begins with airstrikes against Baghdad. Baghdad falls on April 9, Saddam goes into hiding. Pictures of a colossal Saddam statue being toppled by international forces and Iraqis are broadcast around the world.
Dec 14, 2003 - US troops track the former dictator to the Tikrit region and eventually find him hiding in an underground hole.
June 30, 2004 - Saddam is formally handed over to Iraq authorities but remains in US military custody.
Oct 1, 2005 - The trial of Saddam and seven aides on charges related to the 1982 killing of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail begins.
Aug 21, 2006 - Beginning of the former dictator's second trial on charges of genocide against the Kurds.
Nov 5 2005 - The Iraqi special tribunal announces its verdict in the Dujail trail, sentencing Saddam, his half-brother and a former aide to hang.
Dec 26, 2006 - Iraq's appeals court upholds the original verdict.