Nasser, Gamal Abdel

[ (guh-mahl ahb-duhl nah-suhr, nas-uhr) ]

An Egyptian military and political leader of the twentieth century. Nasser overthrew King Farouk of Egypt (see also Egypt) in the early 1950s and soon became president. He urged Arab nations to unify against both Israel and European and American influence in the Middle East. He took control of the Suez Canal for Egypt in 1956, provoking a British military attack. In 1967, he provoked a brief and unsuccessful war against Israel, the Six-Day War. Upon his death in 1970, he was succeeded by Anwar Sadat. (See Suez Canal crisis; Arab-Israeli conflict.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.