Traian Basescu

Romania's former King Michael, who ruled during WWII, dies at 96

Romania's former King Michael, who ruled during WWII, dies at 96

Former Romanian King Michael I, who was forced to abdicate by the communists in the aftermath of World War II, died Tuesday at his home in Switzerland. He was 96.

Michael, who played a pivotal role in Romania's switch to the Allied cause following a coup in 1944, spent decades in exile working as a chicken farmer and aircraft pilot. He finally got his citizenship back in 1997, eight years after the collapse of communism.

Michael's death leaves only two people alive who headed their nations during the war — former King Simeon II of Bulgaria, and the Dalai Lama of Tibet, both of whom were children at the time.

In a statement, the Romanian royal house said Michael died at...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
64°