Saddam Hussein was born in 1937 in Tikrit. He joined the Arab Baath Socialist party in 1957, and two years later went into exile following an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Abdul Karim Kassem, the prime minister of Iraq. He studied law in Egypt and also in Baghdad during his exile. After returning from exile, Hussein was imprisoned for revolutionary activities against the government. He escaped from prison and in 1968 Hussein helped lead a successful Baathist coup.
In 1979 he succeeded Major General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr as head of state and assumed a number of other titles as well. In 1980 Hussein started an inconclusive war with Iran in order to secure his position in Iraq and to prevent Islamic fundamentalism from spreading to Iraq's majority Shiite population.
In August of 1990, Hussein invaded Kuwait. The United Nations authorized the use of lethal force to remove Hussein's troops from Kuwait. This was named Operation Desert Storm.
Following Desert Storm a number of internal problems have caused Iraq to lose large amounts of money. The United Nations have tried to help by started programs that in exchange for food and medicine, Iraq could trade oil.
But Hussein thought these ideas undermined his ability to rule Iraq. So, in order to help his country recover, Hussein has ordered the restoration of many monuments in Iraq. He also had the world's largest mosque built. Hussein has also had a number of his own palaces re-built.
The people in Iraq blame most of their problems on the western world. Mostly, the United States. This is part of why they are in trouble.