Ariel Sharon's Life in Pictures

Ariel Sharon fought for Israel before there was one. Over the next several decades, the general turned prime minister would shape the often bloody life of Jewish state.

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Ministry of Defense, via Getty

Ariel Sharon holds a Sten gun as a young commander in the Alexandroni Brigade of the fledging Israeli army during the War of Independence in 1948. (Photo by Ministry of Defense via Getty Images)

Ministry of Defense, via Getty

Israeli army officer Ariel Sharon addresses his troops of the famous Unit 101, before their attack on the Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip August 30, 1955 in their base in Israel.

Micha Han/GPO, via Getty

Israeli army's Southern Command General Ariel Sharon (2nd L) meets with his officers a week before the June 5 start of the Six-Day War May 29, 1967 at their headquarters somewhere in southern Israel. Thirty-eight years after Israel captured the Gaza Strip from the Egyptians during the campaign, the Jewish state looks poised to leave the populous Palestinian territory as the now Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan approaches its August 15, 2005 implementation.

Ministry of Defense, via Getty

Israeli army Southern Command General Ariel Sharon with Defense Minister Moshe Dayan during the Yom Kippur War in October 1973 on the western bank of the Suez Canal in Egypt.

Israel Government Press Office/AP

Ariel Sharon, left, speaks to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, center, as Cabinet minister Shimon Peres sits nearby, on an aircraft, Dec. 11, 1975. Sharon, 74, has been at the white-hot center of the Arab-Jewish conflict throughout his life as a soldier and politician. Despite a half-century career studded with controversy, Israelis appear set to re-elect him as Prime Minister in the Jan. 28, 2003, general elections. 

Moshe Milner/GPO, via Getty

In this handout from the Israeli Governmental Press Office, Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon visits on the Suez Canal with his wife Lily and their son Gilad January 19, 1982 in Egypt.


Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, foreground, rides an armored personnel carrier on a tour of Israeli units advancing to the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon, June 15, 1982, during Israeli occupation.

Uzi Keren/Getty

Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, lower right, sits before the Cahan investigation committee during the investigation of the Sabra and Shatila Massace during Lebanon War October 25, 1982 in Jerusalem, Israel. (L to R) Aharon Barak, Judge Cahan, and former Major General Yona Efrat are on the committee. Sharon, now leader of Israel's right-wing opposition Likud Party, is challenging incumbent Prime Minister Ehud Barak for the leadership of Israel in the upcoming February 6, 2001 elections.

David Bookstaver/AP

Former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon speaks to reporters outside U.S. Federal Court in New York on Friday, Jan. 19, 1985 after a jury found in his favor on the second major issue, falsity, in Sharon?s $50 million libel suit against Time Inc. The jury is still to decide on the third issue of malice. 

Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty

Ariel Sharon, leader of Israel's right-wing Likud Party, is illuminated by fireworks during the official opening of his electoral campaign in the Jerusalem International Convention Center 10 January 2001. Sharon leads in the polls over caretaker Prime Minister Ehud Barak one month before the 06 February prime ministerial election. 

Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty

US President George W. Bush (C) walks to the podium with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (R) and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmud Abbas to deliver their statements at Biet al-Bahar Palace 04 June 2003 in Aqaba, Jordan. 

Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon arrives at a welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in New Delhi September 9, 2003. Sharon kicked off his visit to India, the first by an Israeli leader, on Tuesday promising to build closer ties, a move that has raised concerns in neighbouring Pakistan.

David Guttenfelder/AP

Ariel Sharon, then Israel's Prime Minister-elect, looks up as his touches Judaism holiest site, the Western Wall, in Jerusalem in this Feb. 7, 2001, file photo. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed to the intensive care unit of a Tel Aviv hospital Wednesday July 26, 2006 to undergo a form of kidney dialysis, a hospital spokeswoman said.