FDR and Ibn Saud, as they were known popularly, could not have been more different. FDR was in his fourth term as the elected president of the most powerful country in the world, and on the eve of winning World War II. He had traveled the world and was returning from the Yalta summit with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin. He was gravely ill and had only weeks to live. His blood pressure was 260 over 150. But he was convinced that Saudi Arabia would be crucial to America in the post-war world, thanks to its oil.
Ibn Saud had never been to sea before, or outside the Arabian Peninsula except for a brief trip to Basra, Iraq. He was a warrior who had created the modern Saudi kingdom through endless battles. He had little experience in international diplomacy. He was an absolute monarch backed by the fanatical Wahhabi clergy.