Published December 29, 2006
Timeline of Saddam Hussein's Life and Career:
April 28, 1937: Born in village of Uja near desert town of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, Iraq.
1957: Joins underground Baath Socialist Party.
1958: Arrested for killing brother-in-law, a communist; spends six months in prison.
Oct. 7, 1959: Participates in Baath team that ambushes Iraqi strongman Abdel-Karim Kassem in Baghdad, wounding him. Saddam wounded in leg, flees country.
Feb. 8, 1963: Returns from Egypt after Baath takes part in coup that overthrows and kills Kassem.
July 30, 1968: Takes charge of internal security after Baath seizes power and authority passes to council headed by Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, Saddam's cousin.
July 16, 1979: Takes over as president of Iraq from al-Bakr; launches purge of Baath.
Sept. 22, 1980: Sends army into Iran, setting off eight-year war.
July 8, 1982: Survives assassination attempt in Dujail, a mainly Shiite Muslim town 25 miles north of Baghdad. In retaliation, Saddam's security forces attack the town. (The events in Dujail were the subject of the criminal charges in Saddam's initial trial.)
March 28, 1988: Uses chemical weapons against Kurdish town of Halabja, killing an estimated 5,000 civilians.
Aug. 2, 1990: Invades Kuwait, leading to war with U.S.-led coalition that liberates Kuwait the following February.
March 1991: Crushes Shiite Muslim revolt in the south and Kurdish revolt in the north.
March 20, 2003: Missed by bombing attack as U.S.-led forces try force his ouster.
July 22, 2003: Sons Qusai and Odai killed in gunbattle with U.S. troops.
Dec. 13, 2003: Captured by U.S. soldiers in Tikrit.
June 30, 2004: Transferred into Iraqi custody.
July 1, 2004: Arraigned before judge and defiantly rejects charges of war crimes and genocide.
Dec.17, 2004: Sees Iraqi lawyer for the first time since his capture.
June 13, 2005: Shown in video being questioned about 1982 massacre in Dujail.
July 13, 2005: Faces first charges against him as tribunal chief judge says investigation into Dujail killings complete.
Aug. 23, 2005: Fires legal team.
Oct. 19, 2005: Pleads innocent as trial opens in Dujail case. It is immediately adjourned.
Oct. 20, 2005: Ohne of his defense attorneys is kidnapped and killed.
Nov. 8, 2005: Another defense attorney is killed in an ambush.
Dec 5, 2005: Denounces trial as public relations exercise after witnesses tell of horrors committed during his rule.
Dec 7, 2005: Refuses to enter court after telling tribunal to "go to hell" the night before. Judge eventually decides to press on without him.
Dec 21, 2005: Seventh session of trial begins. The next day the trial is adjourned until Jan. 24 after another turbulent session.
Dec 25, 2005: Saddam’s lawyers say they have asked the court for independent inquiry into claims his American captors tortured him.
Dec 29, 2005: Saddam's chief lawyer sends a letter to Bush saying he should be freed if the U.S. wants to end its problems in Iraq and earn the friendship of Arabs.
(Sources: AP: Events in the life of Saddam Hussein; 11/28/05; Key events in life of Saddam Hussein, Associated Press, 10/18/05; NPR, 10/18/2005 - Timeline: Saddam's Violent Road to Trial -