Fahd was appointed Crown Prince when his half-brother Khalid succeeded another half-brother King Faisal, who was assassinated in 1975. Fahd was viewed as the de facto Prime Minister during King Khalid's reign in part due to the latter's ill health. Fahd ascended to the throne on the death of King Khalid on 13 June 1982.
King Fahd is credited for having introduced the Basic Law of Saudi Arabia in 1992. He suffered a debilitating stroke in 1995, after which he was unable to continue performing his full official duties. His half-brother Abdullah, the country's Crown Prince, served as de factoregent of the kingdom, and succeeded Fahd as monarch upon his death in August 2005.
Fahd's education took place at the Princes' School in Riyadh, a school established by Ibn Saud specifically for the education of members of the House of Saud. He received education for four years as a result of his mother's urging. While at the Princes' School, Fahd studied under tutors including Sheikh Abdul-Ghani Khayat. He then went on to receive education at the Religious Knowledge Institute in Mecca.