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Ben Ali Ayoob was an Egyptian-born Swiss millionaire.


As a younger man, Ben Ali Ayoob participated in Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Such experience had a profound effect on Ayoob, becoming obsessed with obtaining historical artifacts, devoting for their collection his considerable wealth.[1]

In 1936, when the American archaeologist Indiana Jones was ambushed and nearly killed by Aborigines as he attempted to recover the Arnhem Calendar Ring from the Australian desert, Ayoob sent a team of Ismailis to help him. After saving Jones, the Ismailis took the archaeologist to Ayoob's base where Ayoob introduced himself to the American and asked him to find for him the Fourth Nail, an early Christian artifact associated with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, in the posession of gypsies. Jones refused and Ayoob, laughing, let him go after asking him why not and Indy responded by saying that he had half a dozen reasons to not do so in reference to the bullets in his gun.[1]

Not taking no for an answer, Ayoob sent his Ismailis to follow Jones, ambushing Jones' gypsy friend Torino. Jones rescued him but the Ismailis tailed Jones to his meeting with the gypsy Phuri Dai, Keeper of the Fourth Nail. The Ismailis then attempted to steal the Nail from the gypsies, but upon touching the relic, all the Ismailis succumbed to mysterious stab wounds through their hearts, prompting Ayoob to relocate.[3]

Later that same year, National Museum curator Marcus Brody was framed for replacing the Arhem Calendar Ring with a counterfeit, leading Jones to investigate as Osborn Sloams-Hagen was assigned as Brody's temporal replacement. Eventually, Jones found that Ayoob had hired the Cuban sugar plantation owner Juan Soto to hire a thief, to steal the Ring. Given the information provided by the thief, Brody, Jones, and Jones' romanatic partner Marion Ravenwood, went to search of Soto who captured them thanks to his wolves. Not revealing that Ayoob was his employer, Soto ended up losing his life in a shark attack after a fight against Jones.[4]

Following Soto's death, the three friends searched for Austin Coleridge, ones of Ayoob's associates and a former Princeton University classmate of Brody. Ayoob had hired Coleridge to find the Devil's Heart, the supposed heart of Satan, Prince of Darkness. Jones defeated Coleridge and his goons at the Lucifer Chamber and managed to discover Ayoob's base location.[5]

Accompanied by the Nazi assassin Hans Degen disguised as a Scotland Yard official, Indy and his allies went to Ayoob's base to apprehend him before getting captured by the Ismailis. With Jones' party at his headquarters, Ayoob revealed his intentions to use the Devil's Heart to prey on the people's fears to coerce them into turning over valuable artifacts to him. With no further use for the archaeologist, Ayoob placed Jones, Brody and Degen into an arena with a bear and attempted to seduce Ravenwood. However, Ravenwood helped Indy and Marcus to escape while Degen dealt with the bear. Ayoob cornered the three but noticed that Degen was trying to sneak up on him from behind and shot him. The dying Degen threw the Devil's Heart into the fireplace. Ayoob frantically tried to save the Heart, but by doing so, Ayoob was consumed by the black flames and vaporized.[2]



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