During his 29 years in power, Hosni Mubarak survived would-be assassins and ill health, crushed a rising Islamist radical movement and maintained the peace pact with neighboring Israel that got his predecessor killed.

Mubarak was in the intensive care unit at a military hospital in Cairo when he died. He was in surgery on January 23, according to a tweet by his son Alaa Mubarak.

The Soviet-trained bomber pilot became one of the leading US allies in the Middle East, receiving tens of billions of dollars in American military aid, and his government’s continued observance of the Camp David accords with Israel was the cornerstone of the so-called “cold peace” between the formerly warring neighbors.

But following a January 2011 revolt in Tunisia that launched the Arab Spring uprisings, demonstrators on the streets of Cairo stood up to riot police, and the army refused to intercede on his behalf. Mubarak handed over power to a military council in February and went into seclusion in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Read more of Mubarak’s obituary here.