Prince Hussein is proclaimed the king of Jordan after his father, King Talal, is declared unfit to rule by the Jordanian Parliament on grounds of mental illness. Hussein was formally crowned on November 14, 1953, his 18th birthday. Hussein was the third constitutional king of Jordan and a member of the Hashemite dynasty, said to be in direct line of descent from the Prophet Muhammad.
During his nearly five decades of rule, he maintained good relations with the West and steadily developed Jordan’s economy. He fought against Israel in 1967’s Six-Day War and later against Palestinian guerrillas who tried to seize control of the Jordanian state. He opposed the Persian Gulf War of 1991 but supported the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. He died in 1999 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Abdallah. He was the 20th century’s longest-serving executive head of state.