Ordoño IV was the son of Alfonso IV “el Monje” (926-931) and princess Oneca of Pamplona. In 958 he rebelled against his first cousin, king Sancho I “The Fat”, taking advantage of this king’s lack of popularity.
He was helped by the Castilian count, Fernán González and other nobles of the kingdom. The rebels triumphed and entered the city of León on August 1st. Ordoño IV was crowned king shortly after. Sancho fled first to Pamplona, then Córdoba, from where he planned his return.
Ordoño IV married Urraca, one of Fernán González’ daughters and king Ordoño III’s widow.
During the spring of 959 Sancho I returned to Córdoba, much skinnier, and accompanied by an army borrowed from Abderramán III. He took the city of Zamora, and, in the following year, recovered the throne in the Leonese capital, where he ruled for six more years. Ordoño IV fled to al-Ándalus, where he passed away shortly after.
Obispo Sampiro, a historian at the time, said that “Ordoño, while he continued with his life, remained amongst the Saracens and paid his sins with tears.” We know very little about his short reign, although some medieval historians nicknamed him “The Bad”.