Hussein bin Talal, Ḥusayn bin Ṭalāl; 14 November 1935 – 7 February 1999) was King of Jordan from the abdication of his father, King Talal, in 1952, until his death. Hussein’s rule extended through the Cold War and four decades of Arab-Israeli conflict. He recognized Israel in 1994, becoming the second Arab head of state to do so (after Anwar Sadat in 1978/1979).
“He won the respect and admiration of the entire world and so did his beloved Jordan. He is a man who believed that we are all God’s children, bound to live together in mutual respect and tolerance.” (US President, Bill Clinton)
“He was an extraordinary and immensely charismatic persuader for peace. At the peace talks in America when he was extremely ill, he was there, talking to both sides, urging them forward, telling them nothing must stand in the way of peace.” (UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair)
“President Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian people and leadership have received with great sorrow and pain the news,” it said in a statement. The Palestinian Authority
South African President Nelson Mandela believed the death would be “deeply mourned by all peace-loving people.”
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan paid tribute to the late king, praising him for his “lifelong struggle to bring peace”. (excerpts from Wikipedia)
In addition to being a great leader and persuader for peace, did you know that King Hussein was also a scuba diver? This is a letter I found going through old papers and photos at my mother’s house this weekend, from King Hussein’s office, placing an order with my father, Willis Lefavour’s scuba diving business (Seacraft Industries) for an assortment of diving related items for His Majesty. This has nothing at all to do with Cape Ann, but I thought it was cool and worth sharing.