Mahendra (June 11, 1920 - January 31, 1972) was king of Nepal 1955 to 1972. He succeeded his father, Tribhuvan, who had, after years as a puppet of the Rana family, finally managed to break their 150-year hegimony over the country. Unlike his father, however, Mahendra was not a supporter of parliamentary democracy, and he banned opposition parties in the 1960s. After his sudden death, he was succeeded by his son Birendra. A younger son, Gyanendra was king as a small child from 1950 to 1951 when Tribhuvan, Mahendra and Birendra had fled the country to escape from the Rana threat. After 50 years, Gyanendra reassumed the throne when his brother Birendra was killed in 2001.