Middle Eastern statesman Anwar el-Sadat was born to a poor Egyptian-Sudanese family. He joined the Army and graduated from the Royal Military Academy in 1938. During World War II the British imprisoned him for his anti-British views. In 1952, he was one of a group of officers who led the revolt that toppled the Egyptian monarchy of King Farouk.
He was a close associate of Nasser and held a variety of posts under Nasser's regime. Upon Nasser's death, in 1970, he became President.
In 1972, he expelled Soviet military advisors from Egypt and a year later -- together with the Syrians -- he launched a surprise attack on Israel, thus beginning what became known as the Yom Kippur War. The attack was initially successful, but early gains evaporated after Israel counter-attacked.
Having restored some of the Arabs' wounded pride (that had been bruised after the 1967 Six Day War), Sadat moved decisively to change the face of the Middle East. His 1977 visit to Jerusalem led to the 1979 Camp David peace accords and, ultimately, to his sharing the Nobel Prize for peace with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
In 1981, while reviewing troops, Sadat was assassinated by Muslim extremists.