Hosni Mubarak, who died on Tuesday, never expected to be president. But when a very public assassination thrust the former bomber pilot into the job, he made it his mission never to give it up.
His story became Egypt's story for the next 30 years until, finally, his people found they could write it themselves, in a 2011 Arab Spring revolution that consigned him to history.
An unremarked vice president to Anwar Sadat, he was a stopgap in the anxious days of 1981 after Sadat was gunned down beside him at a military parade. Few thought he would last.