Here is a list of milestones in the life of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed in Pakistan this week:
1957 - Osama bin Mohammad bin Awad bin Laden was born in Riyadh, one of more than 50 children of a millionaire businessman. There are conflicting accounts of his precise date of birth.
1976-79 - Bin Laden studies management and economics at university in Jeddah.
December 26, 1979 - Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.
1984 - Bin Laden becomes involved with organisation based in Peshawar, Pakistan, supporting Arab volunteers arriving to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
1986 - Bin Laden moves to Peshawar, begins importing arms and forms his own small brigade of volunteer fighters.
1988 - Soviet forces leave Afghanistan. Al Qaeda (The Base) is established as a magnet for radical Muslims seeking a more fundamentalist brand of government in their home countries and joined in common hatred of the United States, Israel and US-allied Muslim governments.
1991 - Bin Laden returns to Saudi Arabia, then leaves for for exile in Sudan, having opposed the kingdom's alliance with the United States against Iraq.
June 1993 - Bin Laden family moves to expel Osama as shareholder in its businesses, which focus on construction.
April 9, 1994 - Saudi Arabia, angered by bin Laden's propaganda against its rulers, revokes his citizenship.
May 1996 - Bin Laden is forced to leave Sudan after US pressure on its government, and goes to Afghanistan.
August 1996 - Bin Laden issues a fatwa, or religious decree, that US military personnel should be killed.
September 1996 - Taliban movement establishes "Islamic emirate" in Afghanistan.
October 1996 - US names bin Laden as prime suspect in two bombings in Saudi Arabia that killed 24 US servicemen and two Indians.
August 7, 1998 - Truck bombs explode at US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, killing 224, including 12 Americans.
August 20, 1998 - President Bill Clinton names bin Laden as America's top enemy and accuses him of responsibility for the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam bombings. US launches missile strikes against what Clinton calls terrorist bases in Afghanistan and Sudan. One destroys a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, whose owner denies any affiliation with bin Laden.
October 12, 2000 - Al Qaeda strikes at destroyer USS Cole, in Yemeni port of Aden. Seventeen sailors are killed.
September 11, 2001 - Three hijacked planes crash into major US landmarks, destroying New York's World Trade Center and plunging into the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked plane crashes in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people are killed. In a video released later, bin Laden says the collapse of the towers exceeded al Qaeda's expectations.
September 17, 2001 - US President George W Bush says bin Laden is "Wanted: Dead or Alive".
October 7, 2001 - United States attacks Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, host to bin Laden and al Qaeda.
November 2001 - Afghanistan's Taliban rulers are ousted.
December 6, 2001 - Anti-Taliban forces capture bin Laden's main base in Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Bin Laden evades capture.
September 10, 2002 - Al Jazeera broadcasts what it says is the voice of bin Laden praising the 9/11 hijackers as men who "changed the course of history".
November 2002 - Al Qaeda claims responsibility for suicide car bombs in Kenya that blew up the Mombasa Paradise resort hotel, popular with Israelis, killing 15 people and wounding 80.
October 2004 - Bin Laden bursts into US election campaign in his first videotaped message in over a year to deride Bush.
September 2006 - Bush vows: "America will find you."
September 2007 - Bin Laden issues first new video for nearly three years, telling US it is vulnerable despite its power.
May 18, 2008 - Bin Laden urges Muslims to break the Israeli-led blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, and fight Arab governments that deal with Israel.
January 24, 2010 - Bin Laden claims responsibility for the failed December 25 bombing of a US-bound plane in an audio tape and vows to continue attacks on the United States.
March 25, 2010 - Bin Laden says al Qaeda will kill any Americans it takes prisoner if accused September 11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, held by United States, is executed, according to an audiotape aired on al Jazeera.
January 21, 2011 - Bin Laden says in an audio recording that the release of French hostages held in Niger by al Qaeda depends on France's soldiers leaving Muslim lands.
May 2, 2011 - Bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad, 60 km (35 miles) north of the Pakistani capital Islamabad.
May 6, 2011 - Al Qaeda confirms bin Laden's death in an Internet message and vows not to abandon armed struggle. It vows revenge on the United States and allies, and says bin Laden's death will be a curse "that chases the Americans and their agents", according to the SITE monitoring service.