Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah named Defense Minister Prince Salman the new crown prince and deputy premier on Monday. He assumed the position left vacant after the death of Crown Prince Naif on Saturday. Prince Salman has been serving as the country’s minister of defense since Nov. 5.
He was born in Riyadh on Dec. 31, 1935 and received his education at the Prince’s School in Riyadh. His religious and academic education has helped him to become a unique cultural personality.
He is well advised in political affairs and global trends and a great authority on the history of the Kingdom and the Arab world.
He served as deputy governor of Riyadh from March 1954 to April 1955 and then as governor of Riyadh from April 1955 to December 1960 and again from February 1963 until he became defense minister. During his service as governor, the prince succeeded in converting the city from a mid-sized town into a major urban metropolis fit enough to be the capital of the world’s largest oil exporter.
He is chairman of the Riyadh Charity Foundation for Sciences, which runs Prince Sultan Private University and the Prince Salman Oasis of Sciences; chairman of King Fahd National Library; and chairman of King Abdulaziz Foundation.
Prince Salman has been a driving force for charitable activities in Kingdom and abroad.
His philanthropic services include the presidency of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, honorary presidency of the Prince Fahd bin Salman Charitable Society for the Care of Kidney Patients and honorary presidency of the Saudi Organ Transplant Center.
The mission of the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research is to prevent disabilities and improve the quality of life for the disabled through research.
It is based in Riyadh and conducts and funds high quality and comprehensive laboratory and field research on disabilities.
Prince Fahd bin Salman Charitable Society for the Care of Kidney Patients plans to become the biggest dialysis center in the Middle East, equipped with 140 machines to serve 800 patients daily.
The prince is also the chairman of the Prince Salman Prize for the Memorization of Holy Qur’an for Boys and Girls in the Kingdom.
The prince is also keen on promoting cultural activities serving as the chairman of the board of trustees of the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah), chairman of the board of trustees of the King Fahd National Library, chairman of the Center for the History of Makkah and Madinah, chairman of the board of directors of the Hamad Al-Jasser Foundation, honorary president of the Saudi Historical Society and honorary president of the board of trustees of the Prince Salman Prize for Business Youth.
For his humanitarian and other services, he has been awarded many medals and decorations including awards from Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Morocco, Palestine, the Philippines, Senegal, the United Nations, Yemen, and the King Abdulaziz Medal of the First Order.
He is a recipient of several honorary degrees and academic awards, including an honorary doctorate from the Islamic University of Madinah, the Prince Salman academic award, an honorary doctorate from the Jamia Millia University in Delhi for his charitable and educational services and the Kant Medal by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in appreciation of his contributions to the field of science.
His son Prince Sultan, who was the first Arab and Muslim to travel into space on the US space shuttle Discovery in 1985, is the president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, while another son Prince Abdul Aziz is the assistant minister of petroleum.
Prince Faisal bin Salman is the chairman of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), the largest media organization in the Middle East.
His son Prince Ahmad, who established SRMG in 1987, passed away at the age of 43 in 2002.
Prince Fahd, his eldest son, died in 2001.