By Bill Chappell
Saudi state TV reported Friday Saudi King Abdullah died at the age of 90. Brendan Smialowski/AP
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has died. The health of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud had previously been a subject of rumors; word emerged earlier this month that he was indeed ill.
Abdullah was 90 years old. He ruled Saudi Arabia for nearly 10 years, having assumed the throne after his brother King Fahd died in 2005.
The kingdom’s new ruler is King Salman, according to state TV.
The news has just emerged. We’ll update this post as we learn new details.
“Abdullah was born before Saudi Arabia was even a country,” NPR’s Kelly McEvers reports for our Parallels blog.
But in his lifetime, he saw the country rise to prominence — thanks to the discovery in 1938 of massive oil reserves.
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