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Stars that died 2010

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sultan, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Saudi royal, Minister of Defense and Aviation (since 1962) and Crown Prince (since 2005), died he was 83.

Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud  was the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, from 2005 to 2011.

(30 December 1930 – 21 October 2011)

Early life and education

Sultan was born in Riyadh. He was the 12th son of King Abdulaziz[1] and his mother was Hassa bint Ahmed Al Sudairi (1900–1969). As such he was one of Sudairi Seven. Sultan, along with many of his brothers, received his early education in religion, modern culture, and diplomacy at the royal court.

Early experience

His career in public service began in 1947 when he was appointed governor of Riyadh, whose main task is resolving the disputes among the 7.000 members of royal family.[2] In 1947, he oversaw ARAMCO's construction of the Kingdom's rail link between Dammam and Riyadh. Sultan was appointed as the kingdom’s first Minister of Agriculture in 1953 and Minister of Transport in 1955.[2]
Although his direct military experience was brief, heading the Royal Guard in Riyadh in the early 1950s, he felt a lifelong connection to the military and the cause of Saudi independence from an early age.[3] Major General Carl Von Horn, Swedish commander of the UN observer mission during the Yemeni civil war, described the Prince as "a volatile and emotional young man" in the early days.[3]

Minister of Defense and Aviation

In 1962, King Faisal appointed Prince Sultan as Minister of Defense and Aviation. He presided over the development of the Saudi armed forces.
Sultan purchased U.S. tanks, fighter planes, missiles and AWACS (airborne warning and control systems). However, as a result of problems assimilating technology within its armed forces, a relatively high proportion of the military equipment is stored or under maintenance, despite a large portion of Saudi's $34 billion defense budget being spent on maintaining military equipment. Sultan allegedly became extraordinarily wealthy from kickbacks by Western businesses that handled multibillion-dollar defense contracts.[4] He was involved in many scandals, including the Al Yamamah deal.[5] However, his influence remained unhindered until his health began to deteriorate.[5] During his tenure, Saudi Arabia became the largest importer of U.S. arms. He was a strong proponent of U.S.-Saudi partnership.[6]
As well, Sultan authorized a deal with the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) in 1965. His program, called Operation Magic Carpet, traded £16 million for six second-hand Lightnings[disambiguation needed], six Hawker Hunters, and a set of missile launchers going to Royal Saudi Air Force. Geoffrey Edwards[disambiguation needed] served as the official intermediary. British pilots also came over, privately contracted.[3]
Prince Sultan was an expert on the Yemen civil war and Soviet involvement in the Horn of Africa in 1985.[7]
In 1996, Prince Sultan opposed Pentagon plans to relocate U.S. troops to safer locations after the Dhahran complex bombings.[8]

Second Deputy Prime Minister

In 1982, King Fahd appointed Prince Sultan as Second Deputy Prime Minister.
Opposition to his appointment as second deputy prime minister came in particular from two other half brothers, Musaid and Bandar, both of whom, like Abdullah, were born in 1923 and therefore, were older than Prince Sultan, who was born in 1924. The protestations of Prince Musaid could be ignored because it was his son who had assassinated King Faisal. But the interests of Bandar bin Abdulaziz were more difficult to disregard. However, he was compensated and the dispute was eliminated.[9]

Crown Prince

Styles of
Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud
Coat of arms of Saudi Arabia.svg
Reference style His Royal Highness[10]
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
On 1 August 2005, Sultan bin Abdulaziz was designated heir apparent despite having a discord with King Abdullah.[11]

Various positions

Prince Sultan was Saudi Arabia's Inspector General. He was Chairman of the Board of Saudi Arabia's national airline, Saudi Arabian Airlines. As Chairman, he approved a ban on smoking inside all Saudi airports.[12] In 1986, he founded the Saudi National Commission for Wildlife Conservation.[13]

Scientific prizes sponsored by Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz

  • Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz prize for water. He was the founder and patron of the Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz International Prize for Water, a bi-annual international scientific award for water research.[14]
  • Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Chair for environmental engineering, department of civil engineering, King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals. It is the first chair in the university.
  • The scientific agreement between Prince Sultan bin Abdullaziz and Oxford University for academic and cultural co-operation, which enables Saudi students for bachelor, master and PHD degrees in the field of human sciences.[15]

Charity works

A non-profit charity organization, Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud Foundation, was set up and funded by Prince Sultan in 1995 for social objectives. The foundation includes the following centers in different countries:
  • Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Private: Committee for Relief.
This private committee organizes relief and medical convoys and sets up camps to combat diseases like Malaria and blindness. It has carried out several developmental, social and medical projects, like, digging wells, building schools, public libraries, mosques, hospitals, establishing dialysis centers. It also sponsors Muslim preachers in Ethiopia, Chad, Niger, Malawi, Mali, Comoro Islands, Djibouti and Indonesia.[17]



In April 2005, Sultan donated £2 million to the Ashmolean Museum. This is regarded as one of the most controversial donations Oxford University received. A year after his donations to establish an art museum, Oxford University agreed to ‘expedite’ the scholarship application process for Saudi students, and identify colleges for ten Saudi students from Prince Sultan University (PSU). When this arrangement became public, it led to criticism from both academics and students stating that it was no academic worth to the university, bypassing Oxford’s governing council, and breaching the admissions process for prospective students.[18]
A press release issued by Oxford University on 20 April 2005, said that:
HRH Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud has given the Ashmolean Museum a substantial donation to provide a fitting home for the Museum’s internationally renowned collection of Islamic art. The total value of the gift is £2 million, which will also provide for ten scholarships at the University of Oxford for Saudi Arabian students.
The press release added further that ‘the new gallery, part of the ambitious redevelopment of one of the world’s oldest museums, will be named the “Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud Gallery”’. Arab News on 21 April 2005 reported that Sultan’s donation was a ‘move to promote understanding between Islam and the West’, adding that ‘Saudi and British officials’ had said that the new gallery ‘will help to portray Islamic culture and civilization in right perspectives.’[18]

Personal life

Prince Sultan has thirty-two children by his multiple wives. His eldest son Khalid, after Sultan's death, was assigned as the Deputy Minister of Defence.[3] His other son Bandar is secretary-general of the National Security Council since 2005. Fahd, another son of him, is Governor of Tabuk Province. Salman (born 1976), another son of him, is assistant secretary-general of the National Security Council.[19] Faisal, his fourth eldest son, is the Secretary General of Sultan bin Abdulaziz al Saud Foundation.[20]
His other sons are Faisal, Turki, Nayef, Badr, Mohammed, Saud, Ahmad, Nawwaf, Abdullah, Mishaal, Mansour, Fawwaz, Abdulmajid and Abdul Ilah.
One of his daughters, Reema, is married to Muhammad bin Nayef, son of the late Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.[21] His other daughter is married to Turki bin Nasser. One of his daughters, Munira who was late Faisal bin Fahd's spouse died in June 2011.[22]


  • Monera bint Abdul Aziz bin Mousad al Saud (deceased), mother of Khalid, Fahd, Faisal and Turki
  • Huda bint Abdullah al Shaikh, mother of Saud, Nayef, Nawwaf, Badr
  • Areej bint Salem al Maree
  • Jowaher bint Mohammed bin Saud bin Nasser al Farhan al Saud (divorced)
  • Mouda bint Saud al Kabeer al Saud (divorced)
  • Mounira bint Machaal bin Saud al Rashid (deceased)
  • Leila bint Thanian al Saud (divorced)
  • Mouda bint Salman al Mandeel al Khaldi (divorced)
  • Ghadir bint Shawaan al Shibani (divorced)
  • Maha bint Abdullah al Binyan (divorced)
  • Abir bint Fahd al Faisal al Farhan al Saud, mother of Fawaz (divorced)


He was regarded as a workaholic with a reputation as "the epitomy of corruption". His lavish spending is legendary: he doles out money at banquets in keeping with tribal custom. A conservative expected to put a brake on Abdullah's timid reforms assuming he becomes king. He was considered to be a pro-American whose son, Prince Bandar, is a former US envoy.[23]


Prince Sultan’s fortune is estimated at $270 billion, which he distributed between his sons prior to his death in October 2011 in order to shore up their political position in the competitive princely arena.[24][25]

Health issues

Sultan was rumored to have had colon cancer in 2003. A foreign correspondent was forced to leave the country after reporting his health problems.[26]
In 2004, Sultan was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent several corrective surgeries. He underwent an operation to remove an intestinal polyp.[27] In April 2009, he started to suffer from Alzheimer's disease.[28][29]
A leaked March 2009 diplomatic cable from WikiLeaks stated that U.S. diplomats viewed Prince Sultan as "for all intents and purposes incapacitated".[30] He was possibly suffering dementia, specifically Alzheimer's disease.[31]
He spent several months in New York City at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital and underwent surgery. He then convalesced at Agadir, Morocco, and remained abroad most of the time, undergoing medical treatments.[32]

Morocco vacation

In February 2009, Sultan underwent surgery in New York. He then convalesced at Agadir, Morocco. He went back to Saudi Arabia, but soon returned to Morocco in August 2009. During his vacation, the Saudi cabinet increased officer salaries, a traditional domain of Sultan.[33]
In 2009, King Abdullah took charge of all defense purchases and reduced the power of the Defense Ministry. In October 2010, Abdullah personally conducted much of the negotiations for the U.S. arms package worth over $60 billion.[34]
In November 2010, Sultan received Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri to discuss the future of Lebanon's government.[35] He had been receiving treatment since 2009 for what analysts and diplomats believed to be cancer.[36] At the end of November 2010, he returned to Saudi Arabia because King Abdullah left for the United States for surgery. His return was seen as a legal formality necessary under Saudi law, which stipulates that only one of the kingdom's top two officials can be abroad at a given time.[37]


According to a statement made by the Saudi Royal court on 22 October 2011, Sultan died at dawn of an unspecified illness.[38] According to media reports, Sultan had been battling cancer and had been seeking medical treatment in the United States since June 2011.[39][40] Unnamed U.S. officials cited by the The New York Times stated that he died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.[41]
His funeral was held at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh on 26 October 2011, in the presence of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.[39]


Sultan took a lifetime anti-communist and anti-Soviet view, based on his dislike of Soviet state atheism as well as Soviet interest in Gulf oil and access to ports that he felt risked Saudi independence. He rebuked U.S. President Jimmy Carter for what he saw as "pusillanimity" in the face of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.[3]
In a 23 October 2001 interview in Kuwaiti newspaper As Seyassa, concerning 9/11 attacks, Sultan stated “Who stands behind this terrorism and who carried out this complicated and carefully planned terrorist operation? Osama bin Laden and those with him have said what indicates that they stand behind this carefully planned act. We, in turn, ask: Are bin Laden and his supporters the only ones behind what happened or is there another power with advanced technical expertise that acted with them?”.[42]

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