That innocent boy grew up to build a personality cult that infiltrated every aspect of Iraqi society. Thousands of murals, posters, statues, and portraits were erected around the country, and his face was plastered all over shops, schools, offices, airports, and other buildings. His dictatorship essentially began in July 1968, when he planned and carried out a purge of non-members of his Ba’ath Party in the Iraqi government. He ruled for 24 years, during which time he is estimated to have killed around a million people. The United States and allies invaded Iraq in 2003, and Hussein was captured and convicted of crimes against humanity by an Iraqi court. He was later put to death.