uday.jpgUday Hussein, Saddam Hussein’s firstborn son, died on July 22 during a firefight with U.S. military forces in Iraq. He was 39.
Uday joined the Ba’ath Party when he was 12. He studied at Al Kharkh Al Namouthajiya School in Baghdad and graduated from the University of Baghdad College of Engineering.
Uday developed a reputation for violence in 1988 when he murdered his father’s personal valet and food taster during a drunken brawl. He was jailed for the crime and sentenced to death, but his father eventually exiled him for a year instead.
After the first Gulf War ended, Uday became the de facto prime minister in Baghdad and head of its paramilitary. He controlled Iraq’s print and broadcast media outlets, ran the country’s sporting events and founded his own paramilitary group, the Saddam Fedayeen. As head of the Iraqi Olympic Committee, Uday imprisoned and tortured three Iraqi soccer stars for losing in the 2000 Asian Cup.
In 1996, unknown gunmen made an attempt on Uday’s life. He was shot eight times, and partially paralyzed from the waist down. In the month after he was discharged from the hospital, Uday killed one of his bodyguards and a woman who spurned his advances.
Although he was elected to the Iraqi Parliament in 2001, Uday lost favor with his father after the assassination attempt. Saddam opted instead to groom Uday’s younger brother, Qusay, to succeed him.