Birth name: Snefru ("He of Beauty")
Rule: 2613 - 2589 BC (1st king of the 4th dynasty, Old Kingdom)
Noteworthy relatives: Hetepheres (wife), Khufu (son), Huni (father-in-law)
Snefru became king by marrying Hetepheres, the daughter of the previous pharaoh Huni. Snefru was a good military leader who also advanced Egypt economically. He initiated trade with other civilizations along the Mediterranean in order to acquire desired natural resources such as cedar and turquoise.
Snefru had his royal burial ground constructed at Dashur. Strangely, he had two pyramids! The North Pyramid (called that because of its location relative to the other one) was the one in which he was probably buried, although no sarcophagus was found in either one. The North Pyramid was a geometrically "true" pyramid.
The other pyramid is a curiosity because of its shape. At its base, the "Bent Pyramid" starts out at an angle of a little more than 54°. Then, about half way up, the sides drop to an even less-steep angle of about 43°.
Relief of Snefru. By Juan R. Lazaro (Photo by Juan R. Lazaro source) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Snefru's Bent Pyramid. Ivrienen at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Snefru's North Pyramid. Hajor [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Watch: "The Great Egyptians: Snefru, King of the Pyramids." Discovery Channel video on YouTube