kids encyclopedia robot

Mohamed Naguib facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Mohamed Naguib
محمد نجيب
Mohamed Naguib1952.jpg
1st President of Egypt
In office
18 June 1953 – 25 February 1954
In office
27 February 1954 – 14 November 1954
Prime Minister Himself
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Preceded by Position established
(Fuad II as King of Egypt)
Succeeded by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Prime Minister of Egypt
In office
8 March 1954 – 18 April 1954
President Himself
Preceded by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Succeeded by Gamal Abdel Nasser
In office
7 September 1952 – 25 February 1954
Monarch Fuad II (until 18 June 1953)
President Himself (from 18 June 1953)
Preceded by Ali Maher
Succeeded by Gamal Abdel Nasser
Minister of War and Navy
In office
7 September 1952 – 18 June 1953
Prime Minister Himself
Preceded by Ali Maher
Succeeded by Abdel Latif Boghdadi
Personal details
Born (1901-02-19)19 February 1901
Khartoum, Egypt
Died 28 August 1984(1984-08-28) (aged 83)
Cairo, Egypt
Cause of death Liver cirrhosis
Political party Military/Liberation Rally
Aisha Labib
(m. 1934; died 1971)
Awards Order of the Nile EGY Order of the Nile - Grand Cordon BAR.png
Order of the Republic EGY Order of the Republic - Grand Cordon BAR.png
Military service
Allegiance Egypt Sultanate of Egypt
Egypt Kingdom of Egypt
Egypt Republic of Egypt
Branch/service Egypt Egyptian Army
Years of service 1918–1954
Rank Major General
Unit Infantry
Battles/wars 1942 Abdeen Incident
1948 Arab–Israeli War
  • Battles of Negba
  • Operation Pleshet
  • Battle of Nitzanim
  • Battle of Hill 86
1952 Egyptian Revolution

Mohamed Bey Naguib Youssef Qutb El-Qashlan (Arabic: الرئيس اللواء محمد بك نجيب يوسف قطب القشلان, Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [mæˈħæmmæd næˈɡiːb]; 19 February 1901 – 28 August 1984), also known as Mohamed Naguib, was an Egyptian revolutionary, and, along with Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the two principal leaders of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 that toppled the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Egypt, and the independence of Sudan.

A distinguished and decorated general who was wounded in action in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, he became the leader of the Free Officers Movement of nationalist army officers opposed to the continued presence of British troops in Egypt and Sudan, and the corruption and incompetence of King Farouk. Following the toppling of Farouk in July 1952, Naguib went on to serve as the head of the Revolutionary Command Council, the prime minister, and first president of Egypt, successfully negotiating the independence of Sudan (hitherto a condominium of Egypt and the United Kingdom), and the withdrawal of all British military personnel from Egypt. His tenure as president came to end in November 1954 due to disagreements with other members of the Free Officers, particularly with Nasser, who forced him to resign and succeeded him as president.

Early life and education

Mohamed Naguib was born on 19 February 1901 in Khartoum, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan to Youssef Naguib and Zohra Ahmed Othman. Zohra was from an Egyptian family residing in Sudan, while Youssef was a ranking officer of the Egyptian Armed Forces who had come from a notable Egyptian family of army officers. Naguib was the eldest of nine children.

Naguib attended secondary and military school at Gordon Memorial College in Khartoum, graduating in 1918. He joined the Egyptian Royal Guard in 1923. In 1927, Naguib became the first Egyptian military officer to obtain a law license. In 1929 he earned a postgraduate degree in political economy, and then another postgraduate degree in civil law in 1931.

Military career

Naguib in 1948 war
Naguib during the 1948 war

In December 1931, Naguib was promoted to the rank of captain. He moved to the border patrol in Arish in 1934. He was part of the military committee that carried out the terms of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936. In Khartoum, he founded a newspaper for the Egyptian Armed Forces in 1937, and he was promoted to the rank of major on 6 May 1938.

Naguib tendered his resignation in protest following the Abdeen Palace incident of 1942. Naguib wrote in his autobiography that he had resigned because he had broken his oath of allegiance to the King by failing to prevent the British siege of the palace, but that Abdeen Palace officials thanked him for his actions regardless and refused to accept his resignation.

Naguib subsequently continued his upward trajectory through the hierarchy of the Egyptian military, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel and the post of regional governor of the Sinai Peninsula in 1944. He took on leadership of the mechanized infantry of the Sinai in 1947, and was promoted to brigadier general in 1948.

Naguib performed outstandingly during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, where he was wounded seven times. For his service he was awarded the first military star of Fuad as well as the title of Bey. He was also subsequently awarded with the directorship of the Egyptian Military Academy, where he would ultimately encounter the members of the Free Officers Movement.

Free Officers Movement

Mohamed Naguib was first introduced to the Free Officers Movement by Abdel Hakim Amer during his tenure as the director of the Royal Military Academy in Cairo. The Free Officers were a group of nationalist army officers fiercely opposed to the continuing presence of British military personnel in Egypt and Sudan since 1882, and the attendant political role that the United Kingdom had in Egyptian affairs. Additionally, they viewed the Egyptian and Sudanese monarchy as weak, corrupt, and incapable of protecting Egyptian and Sudanese national interests, particularly against the United Kingdom, and the State of Israel. In particular, they held King Farouk responsible for the poor conduct of the war in Palestine in which 78% of the former Mandate for Palestine was lost to the newly proclaimed State of Israel, and some three quarters of Palestine's Muslim and Christian population were variously expelled from the country, or fled into exile.

The movement had been led originally by Gamal Abdel Nasser, and was composed exclusively of servicemen who were all under 35 years of age and from low-income backgrounds. Nasser, who like Naguib was a veteran of the Arab-Israeli War, felt that the movement needed an older officer from a distinguished military background in order to be taken seriously. The highly respected and nationally famous Naguib was the obvious choice, and he was invited to assume leadership of the movement. While this proved successful in strengthening the Free Officers, it would later cause great friction within the movement, and an eventual power struggle between the elder Naguib and the younger Nasser. Historians have noted that whilst Naguib understood his position and duty as being the movement's bona fide leader, the younger Free Officers saw him as a figurehead who would yield to the collective decision-making of the movement, giving Naguib a more limited, symbolic role.

Revolution of 1952

Nasser and Naguib Saluting
Naguib saluting at the opening of the Suez Canal with Gamal Abdel Nasser

On 23 July 1952 at about 1 am, the Free Officers launched the revolution with a coup d'état to depose King Farouk. Naguib was immediately appointed as Commander in Chief of the Army in order to keep the loyalty of the Armed Forces firmly behind the Revolution. His celebrated status as a hero of the Arab-Israeli War, along with his jovial personality and elder statesmen demeanor also made him appear as a reassuring figure to the Egyptian public, who had not previously been exposed to Nasser and the other Free Officers.

The Free Officers chose to govern at first via Aly Maher Pasha, a former prime minister who was known for his opposition to the United Kingdom's occupation of Egypt, and its interference in Egyptian affairs. The next evening, Naguib met with British diplomat John Hamilton. During the meeting Hamilton assured Naguib that the British government supported the abdication of King Farouk, that the Churchill government viewed the coup as an internal Egyptian matter, and that the United Kingdom would intervene only if it felt that British lives and property in Egypt were in danger.

Nageeb & nasser
Naguib (left) and Nasser (right) during celebrations for the second anniversary of the revolution, July 1954

The prospect of British intervention on behalf of Farouk was the biggest threat to the Revolution, and Hamilton's message to Naguib gave the Free Officers the reassurance that they needed to follow through with deposing the King. On the morning of 26 July 1952, Maher arrived at the Ras El Tin Palace where Farouk was staying in order to present him with an ultimatum from Naguib: he was to abdicate his throne, and leave Egypt by 6 pm the following day, or the Egyptian troops gathered outside Ras El Tin would storm the palace and arrest him. Farouk agreed to the terms of the ultimatum, and the following day, in the presence of Maher, and the United States Ambassador Jefferson Caffery, boarded the Royal yacht Mahrousa, and left Egypt. In his memoirs, Naguib described how his journey to the dock to meet the deposed Farouk before the former King departed the country was delayed by throngs of people celebrating the Revolution. Caffery confirmed that Naguib was angry at missing the former King's departure. Upon arrival at the dock, Naguib immediately took sail in a small vessel to meet Farouk on the Mahrousa, and formally bid him farewell.

In September, Naguib was appointed prime minister, and a member of the Royal Regent Council, with Nasser serving as the minister of interior. Farouk's infant son succeeded him as Fuad II, and would be the last King of Egypt. The succession was designed to deny the United Kingdom a pretext for intervention, allowing the revolutionaries to maintain that they were opposed only to the corrupt regime of Farouk, and not to the monarchy itself. However, after consolidating their power, the Free Officers quickly moved to implement their long-held plans for abolishing the monarchy. Ali Maher's government resigned on 7 September 1952, and Naguib was appointed prime minister. On 18 June 1953, almost 11 months after the revolution, the revolutionaries stripped the infant King Fuad II of his title, declared the end of the Kingdom of Egypt and the establishment of the Republic of Egypt.


Muhammad Naguib 1953
Naguib at his office, 1953
Ma Bufang and Muhammad Naguib
Naguib with Chinese Muslim Kuomintang National Revolutionary Army General Ma Bufang
Last declaration by Mohammed Naguib before his arrest 1954
Last declaration by Mohamed Naguib before his arrest, 1954

With the declaration of the Republic, Naguib was sworn in as its first President. Owing to the non-Egyptian ancestry of Muhammad Ali Pasha (the progenitor of the Muhammad Ali dynasty), and the earlier dynasties that had governed Egypt, Naguib was referenced in Western media as being the first native Egyptian ruler of Egypt since the Roman conquest of Egypt, or even earlier to Pharaoh Nectanebo II, whose reign ended in 342 BC.

Forced resignation

When Naguib began showing signs of independence from Nasser by distancing himself from the RCC's land reform decrees and drawing closer to Egypt's established political forces, namely the Wafd and the Muslim Brotherhood, Nasser resolved to depose him. In late 1953, Nasser accused Naguib of supporting the recently outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and of harboring dictatorial ambitions. A brief power struggle broke out between Naguib and Nasser for control of the military and of Egypt. Nasser ultimately won the struggle and managed to force Naguib to resign from the presidency of Egypt in November 1954. Nasser then placed Naguib under informal house arrest in a suburban Cairo villa owned by Zeinab Al-Wakil, the wife of former Prime Minister Mostafa El-Nahas. Naguib was released from house arrest in 1971 by President Anwar Sadat.

Personal life and death

الرئيس المصري السابق محمد نجيب
Naguib, in front of his portrait, in the last days of his life.

Naguib was married and had four children, three sons and a daughter. His sons were Farouk, Yusuf and Ali. Life magazine reported shortly after the revolution in August 1952 that his eldest son Farouk, who was 14 years old, was planning to change his name. His daughter died in 1951.

On 28 August 1984, Naguib died from liver cirrhosis in Cairo, Egypt. He was 83. Naguib had a military funeral that was attended by President Hosni Mubarak.


Shortly before his death in 1984, Naguib published his memoirs under the title I Was a President of Egypt. The book was widely circulated and was also translated into English under the title Egypt's Destiny. A station of the Cairo Metro is named in his honor. A major road in the Al Amarat District of Khartoum is also named after him.

In December 2013, Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour posthumously awarded Naguib the Order of the Nile, the highest honor of the Egyptian state. The award was received by his son, Mohamed Yusuf.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Muhammad Naguib para niños

  • List of rulers of Egypt
kids search engine
Mohamed Naguib Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.