Hussein el-Shafei Edit Profile
حسين محمود حسن الشافعي
Educated locally, then at the Military College in Cairo where he graduated in 1938. He continued his studies at the Institute for Political Science, gaining an MA degree.
As one of the Free Officers with troops under him most of his fellow plotters were staff officers he had a key role as tank commander seizing the strategic in the capital on July 23, 1952. Immediately after the revolution he stayed outside the government as officer in charge of the Cavalry Corps but intervened forcefully on Nasser’s side in 1954 in the moves to oust Neguib. He was brought into the cabinet as Minister of War and Marine on April 17, 1954, in the first government formed by Nasser. At the reshuffle on September 1, 1954, he was transferred to be Minister of Social Affairs.
He was Minister of Labour and Social Affairs from 1958 to 1961 when he was also heavily engaged in the committee work of the United Arab Republic which linked Syria and the Yemen to Egypt for three years. He first became Vice-President in 1961 while retaining his duties as Minister of Social Affairs and Waqfs. From 1962 to 1964 he was a member of the Presidency Council and from 1964 to 1967 he was Vice-President again.
In the drastic reshuffle following the defeat in the Six-Day War of June 1967 Nasser took over the premiership on June 19, 1967, and made Shafei one of four Deputy Prime Ministers and Minister of Social Affairs and Waqfs. He was also assigned to supervise the Arab Socialist Union and committees of the National Assembly.
After Nasser’s death, he remained close to Sadat. As a right-winger he gave valuable support to Sadat as the challenge from the left reached a climax in May 1971 with the arrest of former Vice-President Ali Sabri on treason charges. He took on special assignments such as work on the merger negotiations with Libya. At the first meeting of the enlarged new cabinet on March 28, 1973, when Sadat took over the premiership in the “Government of confrontation” he took part at Sadat’s side.
Constitutionally, the man who becomes Acting President for up to 60 days in the event of the death of the President. Historically, the man who ensured there was virtually no bloodshed at the revolution by deploying his tanks effectively to take over the radio station, the telephone exchange, the airport and the railway station at 1.30 a.m. on July 23, 1952. His significance is depicted on the fresco at the Officers’ Club in Cairo where he is painted standing in his black beret next to Neguib at the departure of the ousted King Farouk.
A deeply religious man, he was a close associate of Nasser right from the early days and throughout the Neguib- Nasser conflict. Never in a major ministry although very active for many years as Minister of Social Affairs, he is highly valued as a very efficient committee man. He worked hard as President Sadat’s representative on several committees for the merger of Egypt and Libya.
El-Shafei died on 18 November 2005. Mubarak was among the senior officials at el-Shafei's state funeral.
April 17, 1954 - August, 1954
August 16, 1961 - September, 1965
March 20, 1968 - January 16, 1973