Egypt's most famous journalist Heikal dies at 92
Feb 17, Cairo: Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, Egypt’s most prominent writer and journalist and one the most distinguished political authors of the Arab world, has died. He was 92.
Egyptian state television said Heikal, a heavy cigar smoker, died following a short period of illness. He died earlier in the day in Cairo after suffering from weeks of kidney problems.
The very popular author was perhaps the most respected political analyst in Egypt since the 1950s when he became a cabinet minister under nationalist president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, media reports said.
Heikal was born on September 23, 1923, to the family of a wheat merchant in the Nile Delta province of Qalyubia. His father thought that Heikal, as the eldest son in the family, should join him in managing his business. Instead, Heikal decided to pursue his education.
Heikal was sidelined after the death of Nasser, when Anwar Sadat rose to power. Sadat later jailed the respected journalist along with hundreds of government critics in 1981. Heikal was soon released following Sadat's assassination in October 1981. Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian dictator avoided close relations with Heikal throughout his 29 years in office.
Heikal authored some 40 books, including a very famous one about Sadat’s turbulent years in office, entitled “Autumn of Fury, The Assassination of Sadat.” Another notable book in Arabic, “Mubarak and His Age,” which came one year after the former Egyptian president was toppled in a popular uprising in 2011, reflected Heikal’s sharply critical view of Mubarak and his long rule over Egypt.
Heikal continued to appear on his famous TV shows and interviews until recently despite reports that he was in deteriorating health conditions.
The Oslo Times