Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan


Age: 86

president of the United Arab Emirates who spearheaded the transformation of a cluster of tiny desert Persian Gulf sheikdoms into a leading oil and business hub with skyscrapers and sprawling shopping malls, who was one of the richest leaders in the world and worked to keep close ties with the United States and the western countries, who led daily court to let citizens air their concerns and often attended weddings of ordinary citizens when he was invited, and who had led the nation since its independence from Britain in 1971.

Cause of Death: Complications from diabetes and kidney disease

Born: May 6, 1918

Died: November 1, 2004

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates