The following is a timeline of major events in Ariel Sharon life:


Jan. 4: Sharon is rushed to a Jerusalem hospital after suffer a "significant stroke" and cerebral brain hemorrhage.


Dec. 20: Sharon leaves hospital, says he wants to return to work.
Dec. 18: Sharon is hospitalized after suffering a mild stroke.
Nov. 24: Sharon's newly founded Kadima Party lays out its principles including the support for the creation of a Palestinian state and giving up land to ensure Israel's security.
Nov. 21: Labor Party pulls out of Sharon's coalition government. Sharon announces he will quit the Likud Party and form a new political party.
Sep. 26: Sharon barely fends off challenge to his Likud leadership by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Aug. 23: Israel completes its historic pullout from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.


Dec. 30: Sharon shores up coalition government with backing of Labor Party.
Nov. 11: Sharon's nemesis, Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat, dies in a Paris hospital at age 75.
Oct. 26: Israeli parliament approves Sharon's plan to withdrawal troops and settlements from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.
July 12: Sharon invites Labor Party to join into coalition government.
June 15: Israeli attorney general Meni Mazuz announces he will not seek an indictment against Sharon for corruption charges related the so-called "Greek island affair" involving his son.
March 27: Israeli prosecutors recommend indicting Sharon for corruption and bribery.
Feb. 2: Sharon stuns lawmakers in his hard-line Likud Party when he orders his Cabine members to begin planning for withdrawal from 17 settlements in the Gaza Strip.


Jun. 4: Sharon announces he will back a Palestinian state and will remove Israeli settlements during summit in Jordan with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and President George W. Bush. Abbas calls for end to Palestinian intifada.
Feb. 27: Sharon wins parliamentary approval for his new four-party rightist coalition government.
Jan. 28: Sharon's Likud Party wins a decisive victory in a general election, gaining 19 more seats in parliament. Sharon calls for unity saying, " Israel must not be left split apart internally, eaten up by blind hatred."


Nov. 28: Sharon wins Likud leadership over challenge by rival Benjamin Netanyahu.
Nov. 4: Sharon survives no-confidence vote in Israeli parliament.
Oct. 30: Sharon's national unity government collapses when the Labor Party, led by Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, voted against the 2003 budget and turned in their resignations from the 19-month old coalition.
May. 12: Sharon's Likud Party votes against the creation of a Palestinian state despite urging by the prime minister to support the measure.
Apr. 14: Sharon proposes international Mideast peace conference after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.


March 6: Sharon is sworn in as Israel's prime minister.


Feb. 6: Sharon wins a landslide victory over Barak in election for prime minister.

Sept. 28: Sharon visits the disputed Temple Mount to emphasize Israel's claim of sovereignty. Muslims, who call the site the Noble Sanctuary, are outraged, and widespread violence breaks out a day later. The bloodshed sparks a political crisis in Israel, leading to Barak's resignation.


As defense minister, engineers Israel's invasion of Lebanon. It is portrayed as quick, limited strike to drive Palestinian fighters from Israel's northern border. However, Israeli troops advance to outskirts of Beirut and war escalates. Israeli-allied Christian militia kill hundreds of Palestinians at refugee camps in west Beirut, sparking international outrage that leads to Sharon losing his job. Fighting in Lebanon lasts 18 years, until Barak unilaterally withdraws Israeli troops in May 2000.

1970s, 80s, early 90s

As government minister, Sharon leads push to build dozens of Jewish settlements in West Bank and Gaza Strip, despite Palestinian and international protest. Settlements are one of most contentious issues in current peace negotiations. However, when Israel has to return the Sinai desert to Egypt in 1982, Sharon overrides resistance from Jewish settlers and has their homes bulldozed to rubble.


Sharon commands drive by Israeli troops across the Suez Canal into Egypt during Mideast war. The daring assault cuts off Egypt's 3rd Army and helps turn the tide in fighting, establishing his reputation as war hero to many.


Sharon is placed in charge of curbing terrorism in Gaza Strip. More than 100 suspected militants killed and hundreds detained. Attacks by Palestinians go from 34 in June to one in December.


Sharon receives broad praise for his command of an armored division in the Mideast War, in which Israel captures the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.


Sharon is rebuked after engaging his troops in what his commanders regard as unnecessary and unplanned battle with Egyptian forces at Mitla Pass in Sinai Peninsula.


Sharon heads Unit 101, a force carrying out reprisals for slaying of Israeli woman and her two children. In October, Sharon's troops blow up more than 40 houses in Qibya, a village in the West Bank, then ruled by Jordan. Sixty-nine Arabs die, about half of them women and children. Sharon says later he thought houses were empty.


After fighting in a Jewish militia opposed to British control, Sharon serves with distinction in Israel's war of independence with Arab states.


Ariel Sharon is born to Russian immigrants in a farming community outside Tel Aviv on Feb. 26.

FOX News.com's C. Spencer Beggs, Taylor Timmins and The Associated Press contributed to this report.