Following two stints as Vice President under his buddy Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat became Egypt’s third President. They had served together in the military and created the ‘Free Officers,’ a group that fought British rule in the country. Sadat was friendly to the Axis Powers during WWII and enjoyed how they hindered the British. Nasser went on to become President, and Sadat remained close to him until his untimely death. To rid his country of extremist socialists, Sadat accepted the position and led the ‘Correction Revolution’ and the ‘Yom Kippur War.’ His methods grew unpopular over time, and protests against his rule erupted. After the Camp David Accords, which were hosted by US President Jimmy Carter, he is perhaps most known for signing a peace treaty with Israel. Although he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, folks in his own country were less than pleased. The Israel-Sinai treaty infuriated the Islamists, who began conspiring against the Egyptian administration. After the Islamists’ efforts to topple the government was foiled, Sadat launched a crackdown that resulted in the arrest of over a thousand opposition leaders and members. Eventually, he was slain at a victory parade by an opposition party. Read the following biography to learn more about his life.
Childhood and Adolescence
Sadat was the son of Upper Egypt’s Anwar Mohammed El Sadat and Sudan’s Sit Al-Berain. Sadat was constantly bullied as a child because of his mixed ancestry.
He was one of thirteen brothers and sisters born into an impoverished family. He was his grandmother’s favorite, and she used to tell him historical stories. He graduated from Cairo’s ‘Royal Military Academy’ in 1938.
The Career of Anwar
He joined the army in 1939 and was assigned to Sudan, where he met Gamal Abdel Nasser. Together, they formed the ‘Free Officers,’ a clandestine organization dedicated to liberating their country from British rule.
He was imprisoned in the 1940s for assisting the Axis Powers in WWII against the reigning British regime.
The ‘Free Officers’ ignited a revolt that deposed King Farouk on July 23, 1952. This was stated by Sadat on Egyptian radio.
Under President Gamal Abdel Nasser, he was promoted to Minister of State in 1954. He was also the editor of the ‘Al Gomhuria’ news daily, which was formed after the country obtained independence from the British.
In 1959, he rose through the ranks again to become Secretary of the National Union. He was elected President of the National Assembly the following year and served for eight years.
Under Nasser’s presidency, he was elected Vice President of Egypt in 1964. When he was re-elected five years later, he was able to keep his post.
After Nasser’s death in 1970, he took over as President. It was widely assumed that his presidency would be short, as most people saw him as Nasser’s puppet.
On May 15, 1971, Sadat launched his ‘Corrective Revolution,’ which aimed to remove the government of Arabic socialists and welcome an Islamic movement, proving the citizens of Egypt wrong.
Sadat backed a failed peace proposal for the ‘War of Attrition in 1971, which was rejected by both the US and Israel.
He launched the ‘Yom Kippur War,’ a surprise attack against Israel’s possession of the Sinai Peninsula, on October 6, 1973. He became renowned as the ‘Hero of the Crossing’ after that.
Sadat traveled to the United States in October 1975 to seek religious support from Evangelical Christians. He went to the Vatican the next year and received assistance from the Pope.
In 1977, the ‘Bread Riots’ opposed Sadat’s economic policy of raising the prices of basics like bread.
Following the ‘Camp David Accords’ with the West, he signed a peace deal with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 1979, which was unpopular in the Arab world and resulted in their expulsion from the Arab League.
In February 1981, he ordered the arrest of approximately 1,500 persons who opposed his government, which was extremely unpopular.
Sadat was slain by a Jihad group commanded by Khalid Islambouli at a victory parade on October 6, 1981, as a direct result of his unpopular judgments. Eleven more persons were killed in the attack.
Anwar’s Major Projects
In 1970, he became Egypt’s third President, with the goal of freeing the country from harsh socialist control.
In 1973, Assad started the ‘Yom Kippur War’ to expel Israeli forces from sections of his country. The war was a resounding success that stunned the Arab world.
Following the ‘Camp David Accords,’ he signed a peace treaty with Israel and was given the Nobel Peace Prize.
Achievements & Awards
Egypt’s Prime Minister, Vice President, and President were all served by him.
In 1978, he and Menachem Begin were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for signing the Camp David Peace Treaty.
Pat Robertson, a Southern Baptist evangelist, presented him with the ‘Prince of Peace Award.’
Personal History and Legacy
He married Ehsan Madi, but they divorced in 1949 so that he could marry Jehan Raouf. Lubna, Noha, Gamal, and Jehan were their four children.
During his lifetime, he wrote and published five books, the most well-known of which was his autobiography, ‘In Search of Identity,’ published in 1978.
In 1997, the ‘Anwar Sadat Chair for Development and Peace was established at the ‘University of Maryland,’ where his widow worked.
A miniseries called ‘Sadat’ aired on American television in 1983, however it was prohibited in Egypt due to historical inaccuracy. In Egypt, a film named ‘Days of Sadat’ was released and was a huge success.
Estimated Net Worth
Sadat had amassed the majority of his money through politics at the time of his death. His family’s net worth, according to a statement provided by his brother, was only $2 million, not the rumored $148 million. However, this $2 million is still more than ten times his family’s claimed net worth in order to avoid paying taxes.
He was the first Arab leader to visit Israel on official business. He is said to have admired Gandhi for his nonviolent protests and Nazi Germany for his anti-British actions.
In the miniseries “Sadat,” he was played by Louis Gossett, Jr., a well-known actor.