Early Life and EducationMain article: Personal life of Osama bin Laden See also: Bin Laden family
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a son of Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, a billionaire construction magnate with close ties to the Saudi royal family, and Mohammed bin Laden's tenth wife, Hamida al-Attas (then called Alia Ghanem). In a 1998 interview, bin Laden gave his birth date as March 10, 1957.
Mohammed bin Laden divorced Hamida soon after Osama bin Laden was born. Mohammed recommended Hamida to Mohammed al-Attas, an associate. Al-Attas married Hamida in the late 1950s or early 1960s, and they are still together. The couple had four children, and bin Laden lived in the new household with three half-brothers and one half-sister. The bin Laden family made $5 billion in the construction industry, of which Osama later inherited around $25–30 million.
Bin Laden was raised as a devout Wahhabi Muslim. From 1968 to 1976, he attended the élite secular Al-Thager Model School. He studied economics and business administration at King Abdulaziz University. Some reports suggest he earned a degree in civil engineering in 1979, or a degree in public administration in 1981. One source described him as "hard working"; another said he left university during his third year without completing a college degree. At university, bin Laden's main interest was religion, where he was involved in both "interpreting the Quran and jihad" and charitable work. Other interests included writing poetry; reading, with the works of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and Charles de Gaulle said to be among his favorites; black stallions; and association football, in which he enjoyed playing at centre forward and followed English club Arsenal F.C.
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