Mohamed Hassanein Heikal (born 23 September 1923) is a leading Egyptian journalist. For 17 years (1957–1974) he was editor-in-chief of the Cairo newspaper Al-Ahram and has been a respected commentator on Arab affairs for more than 50 years.
Heikal articulated the thoughts of President Gamal Abdel Nasser earlier in his career. The reasons for his fall with president Anwar El-Sadat, who succeeded Nasser, remain under great speculation.
Heikal has been a member of the Central Committee of the Arab Socialist Union.
In 1983, Heikal published many books: Sphinx and Commissar, Cutting the Lion's Tale: Suez Through Egyptian Eyes, The Road to Ramadan and a bombshell titled Khareef Al-Ghadab (Autumn of Fury), in which he analyzed the reasons behind Sadat’s assassination and the rise of political Islam.
Heikal has written many other books, including: Nasser: The Cairo Documents, The Sphinx and the Commissar: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Influence in the Middle East, The Cairo Documents: The Inside Story of Nasser and His Relationship with World Leaders, Rebels, and Statesmen, Secret Channels: The Inside Story of Arab-Israeli Peace Negotiations, Illusions of Triumph: An Arab View of The Gulf War, Iran: The Untold Story, The Return of the Ayatollah, The Iranian Revolution from Mossadeq to Khomeini, and October War.
Heikal has been accused of using a fabricated quotation The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man in his 1996 book Secret Channels.