Upon his capture, a triumphant President George W. Bush told Americans, "For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever."
Hussein was charged with a variety of war crimes and his trial began just days after Iraqis voted on a new constitution.
As always, the leader remained defiant until the end. In July 2004, he told the court that it was President Bush who should be put on trial. He also insisted that he was still the president of Iraq.
The former dictator is alleged to have committed innumerable crimes during his 23-year rule, but his death sentence came after he was convicted in the 1982 killing of 148 Shiite Muslims.
The Shiites had been detained after attempting to assassinate Saddam in the northern city of Dujail.
Saddam Hussein, who ruled Iraq with an iron fist for 24 years, was hanged shortly after 10 p.m. Eastern time. He was 69.