He was the son of the second king of Iraq, Ghazi, who was killed in an automobile accident when Faisal was three. For most of his reign his uncle Abdul Illah ruled as regent (until Faisal came of age in 1953).
As a teen, Faisal attended Harrow School in the United Kingdom, together with his cousin King Hussein of Jordan. The two boys were close, and reportedly planned even then to merge their two realms to counter what they considered the threat of militant pan-Arab nationalism.
After neighboring Syria joined with Nasser's Egypt in the United Arab Republic, the two kingdoms came together in February 1958. Faisal, as the senior member of the Hashemite family, became the head of the newly created Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan.
The plan foundered when Hussein requested Iraqi military assistance, and the Iraqi army marched into Baghdad and proclaimed a republic. Though he was promised safe conduct into exile, the army executed the young king and the family that had gathered around him.
|Kings of Iraq||Succeeded by: