Cambodia's beloved "King Father" Norodom Sihanouk led the country from French colonial rule to independence, through the Vietnam War and the terror of the Khmer Rouge. He died at age 89 of a heart attack Monday in Beijing.
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France installed Sihanouk (shown here in a photo believed to be from the 1950s) as Cambodia's king in 1941, thinking he would make a good puppet ruler. Instead, the country overthrew colonial rule under his watch.
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Sihanouk (second from right) poses with Khieu Samphan (third from left), a top Khmer Rouge leader, next to a milestone marking the distance to Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, in 1973.
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Sihanouk looks on as his wife, Queen Monineath, kisses his son and successor, King Norodom Sihamoni, at a coronation ceremony at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh on Oct. 29, 2004.
Cambodia's former King Norodom Sihanouk dominated his country's politics through more than a half century of foreign invasion, genocide and civil war.
The monarch of the small Southeast Asian country, who often felt himself better suited to art than to statecraft, died of a heart attack Monday in Beijing, where he was receiving medical treatment. He as 89.
"The King Father," as Sihanouk was known in Cambodia, spent many years in exile in the Chinese capital, beginning in 1970.
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