11 January 2014
Last updated at 07:31 ET
Ariel Sharon was one of the most prominent figures in Israel's history - both on the battlefield and in political life.
From when he was a young man, living in what was then Palestine under British control, he fought for and helped build the state of Israel.
Sharon fought in four of Israel's wars, earning a reputation as a fearless soldier and a brilliant strategist.
When Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack in 1973, he led a division that cut off Egyptian soldiers on the Sinai peninsula - a move that helped Israel win the war.
A move into politics swiftly beckoned, but he spent only a year as an MP before becoming security adviser to the then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (pictured centre) in 1975.
It was not long before he was back in parliament, and in 1981 he was appointed defence minister by Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
He resigned two years later after he was found indirectly responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacres during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. The killing of hundreds of Palestinians at refugee camps under Israeli control made him a hate figure among Palestinians.
Popular with the Israeli right, Sharon went on to hold several other key posts in government. During the 1980s and '90s, he was instrumental in the controversial building of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
Sharon became foreign minister in 1998 and negotiated a land transfer deal with the Palestinians at peace talks in the US that year. There was deep distrust between him and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, pictured here at the Wye River talks.
As opposition leader in 2000, Mr Sharon paid a controversial visit to the holy compound in Jerusalem known as the Temple Mount to Jews and Haram al-Sharif to Muslims. Palestinians rioted and the second intifada (uprising) ensued.
Sharon became prime minister in 2001, winning by a landslide with a pledge to bring peace and security to Israel. The following years though saw a worsening of violence with the Palestinians.
Sharon had championed Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, but in one of the most controversial decisions of his career, he pulled settlers and troops out of the Gaza Strip in 2005.
Away from the political arena, Sharon was a farmer and spent family time at his ranch near Sderot in the Negev desert.
He looked set to win re-election when he suffered a succession of strokes in 2005 and 2006. He fell into a coma, from which he never recovered.