The end of World War II saw Egypt still governed by the Treaty of 1936 ruled by King Faruq who enjoyed little popularity or credibility, which left much of Egyptian foreign policy and economics in the hands of the British.
Faruq's government was overthrown by a military coup d' état at in 1952 by a group called the Free Officers. One of their leaders was Gamal Abd al-Nasser, who quickly rose to lead the coup's ruling council.
Nasser embarked on a campaign of land and economic reform, judicial reform, and societal reform, which entrenched him as a popular leader with the Egyptian people. Nasser's was a secular dictatorial government, but he allowed greater individual opportunity, expression, and freedom than Egyptians had ever enjoyed before. His anti-foreign influence stance and his oft-cited Arab background added to his strong popularity. Not only did Nasser succeed in removing Egypt from the western sphere of influence; he brought Syria and Jordan out of it as well. Espousing a theme of pan-Arabism, Nasser was the most influential figure in the Arab world by the late 1950s.
Egyptian president Nasser died in 1970, and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat, another of the original Free Officers who had overthrown the monarch after WWII.