Khufu was the Ancient Egyptian name for Cheops (Greek form), and it is the abbreviated form of "Hnm-hw.f –wi" that means "Khnum protects me". We are not definitely sure whether Khufu was the eldest son of Sneferu, thus the legitimate heir to the throne, or he was a governor of one of the provinces of Egypt –that might be EI-Menia. This last hypothesis is based on the name of this province Mn't-hw.f-wi ' which means 'the Nurse of Khufu'. However, it has been suggested that this province was only a village which Khufu inherited from his father Sneferu. It was called 'Mn't Sneferu' and then changed into 'Mn't-hw.f-wi', considered as a province of the 16th nome of Upper Egypt.
It seems that since the Second Dynasty, some Egyptians settled in Gubeal onwards the north of Beirut. In Khufu Reign, an Egyptian temple was erected in Gubeal, on which Sneferu's name and his successors' was found inscribed. The Fourth Dynasty necropolis was undoubtedly the Giza Plateau, dominated by the pyramids of Cheops and his successors. The Giza pyramids were surrounded by streets of Mastaba tombs belonging to the officers and dignitaries who continued to attend their master's courts in the hereafter.
Khufu was still attested in the Saite Period (the 26th Dynasty), and was increasingly popular during the Roman Period.
According to Papyrus Westcar, Khufu liked to listen to some stories of his predecessors' reigns. In this text, he is portrayed as the traditional legendary monarch, good-natured and eager to be shown amiable towards his inferiors and interested in the nature of human existence. The fourth tale in Papyrus Westcar describes his request for 'the secret chambers of the sanctuary of Thoth' which he wanted to reproduce in his mortuary temple. Then he became acquainted with a magician from Meidum, called Djedi. Djedi revealed that the secret he desired would be passed to him by the first king of the next dynasty, who is the eldest son of the matrimony of Re and a Heliopolitan priest's wife.
The rest of Papyrus Westcar describes the marvelous birth of the Fifth-Dynasty three first rulers. The text breaks off before the end of the story. Considering that his tomb was the largest monument in Egypt and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, it was surprising that the only surviving sculpture of Cheops is a tiny ivory statuette (9 cm high). The broken fragments of this unique portrait were found at Abydos by Flinders Petrie and the reconstructed statuette is now displayed at the Cairo Museum.
A graffito in Wadi Maghara shows that he continued his father's work in Sinai, and a stela in the diorite quarries of the Nubian shows that he also continued this work till the south of the First Cataract.
According to the Turin Canon, Khufu reigned 23 years, and the length ascribed to him by Manetho is 63 years.
Khufu's two sons, each born from a different mother, succeeded him to the throne. The first son was Djedefre who ascended the throne at the death of his father.