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King Zog of Albania
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    (October 8, 1895-April 9, 1961)
    Born in Burrel, Albania
    Birth name was Ahmet Muhtar Bey Zogolli
    Prime minister of Albania (1922-24,1925-28)
    Crowned himself King (September 1, 1928)
    Went into exile when Mussolini's Italy conquered Albania (April, 1939)
    Unsuccessfully tried to reclaim the throne after World War II
    He chain smoked.
    He accepted bribes.
    He was reportedly the subject of 600 blood vendettas, and as a result, rarely made public appearances.
    He was so worried about being poisoned that he put his mother in charge of supervising the royal kitchen.
    When he went into exile, he hauled off most of the national treasury in his luggage.
    During his rule, he abolished Islamic law in favor of a civil code, established an educational system, and eliminated serfdom.
    He forged a country out of a patchwork of feudal clans, leading him to declare 'It was I who created Albania.'
    He survived 55 assassination attempts.
    During an attack outside the Vienna opera house, he fired back at his assailants with a pistol that he always carried (1931).
    King Zog jokes were a recurring feature on Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Credit: C. Fishel

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