King Abdullah Passes Away
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah passed away on January 23, 2015, following a short illness. Crown Prince Salman has been named the new king with Prince Muqrin crown prince. King Abdullah was hospitalized in December 2014, suffering from pneumonia and had been breathing with the aid of a respirator. Since the death in 1952 of King Abdul Aziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia, the throne has systematically passed down to his sons.
King Salman, credited with transforming Riyadh during his half-century as governor, has a reputation for austerity, hard work and discipline. Born on Dec. 31, 1935, King Salman is the 25th son of King Abdul Aziz. He was appointed governor of Riyadh province at the age of 20. He was appointed minister of defense in 2011.