Hussein bin Talal (1935-99) Signed Photo, in Arabic script at lower margin, color, 8 x 10, close up portrait, reigned as King of Jordan from 11 August 1952 until his death in 1999. As a member of the Hashemite dynasty, the royal family of Jordan since 1921, Hussein claimed to be a 40th-generation direct descendant of Muhammad. The prince who would become King Hussein of Jordan, born in 1935, ascended the throne in 1952 after his father, King Abdullah I was assassinated and his older brother, the crown prince, who became King Talal, proved mentally incompetent after a brief reign. King Hussein ruled Jordan for nearly half a century, until his death from lymphoma in 1999. There were controversial aspects to Hussein's rule - participation in the Six Day War against Israel (1967), violent suppression of the Palestinian Liberation Organization on Jordanian soil (1970) and neutrality in the first Gulf War against Iraq (1991), but his reign proved a great blessing to most Jordanians. An island of stability in a troubled region, Jordan enjoyed peace and steady economic progress. A loyal friend of the U.S., King Hussein established formal diplomatic relations with Israel in 1994, after years of informal contacts. He was a helpful intermediary in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, especially the Wye River accords of 1998. Shortly before his death, King Hussein disinherited his brother, allowing his oldest son to ascend the throne as Abdullah II. Comes with a royal letter of transmittal, 8 x 11.5, March 4th, 1998, with embossed crown at top, "The Private Office Of His Majesty The King" letterhead, In part: "...His Majesty King Hussein I has commanded me to thank you for your kind letter...His Majesty has granted your request...On behalf of His Majesty, thank you for your good wishes...." Both items in fine condition, with usual letter folds.