Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon passed away at 85, after nearly a decade in a coma. TIME looks back at the career of the soldier turned political strongman.
Jan. 11, 2014
Ministry of Defense / Getty Images
Ariel Sharon holds a Sten gun as a young commander in the Alexandroni Brigade of the fledgling Israeli army during the War of Independence in Israel, in 1948. Sharon came from the generation of Israeli politicians on the frontlines of the nation's violent birth.