According to the Sumerian king list, Gilgamesh was the fourth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II, first dynasty of Uruk), the son of Lugalbanda. Legend has it that his mother was Ninsun, a goddess.
He was succeeded by his son Ur-Nungal who ruled for 30 years. He built a temple to Ninlil in Nippur, and possibly the walls of Uruk.
Despite the lack of direct evidence, most scholars do not object to consideration of Gilgamesh as a historical figure. If he was a historical king, he probably reigned in ca. the 26th century BC.
In most texts Gilgamesh is written with the determinative for divine beings (DINGIR), but there is no evidence for a contemporary cult, and the Sumerian Gilgamesh myths suggest the deification was a later development (unlike the case of the Akkadian god-kings). Historical or not, Gilgamesh became a legendary protagonist in the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Sumerian Gilgamesh has inspired several works in modern popular culture: