Flamboyant Argentine ex-President Carlos Menem died on Sunday at age 90 after battling long-term health problems, the country’s current President Alberto Fernandez announced in a tweet.
Menem led a tabloid personal life while he pushed Argentina to an economic boom, but his two-term 1989-1999 presidency crumbled under the weight of corruption scandals and he spent years plotting an unlikely comeback.
With his black mane of hair and bushy gray sideburns, Menem at his peak entertained the Rolling Stones at his residence and put Argentina on the international stage, sending troops to the Gulf War and Bosnia.
“Above all, he leaves us with memories of a good person, whom I will remember with great affection,” former President Mauricio Macri tweeted.
Menem died at 11:20 a.m. (1420 GMT) after several weeks in hospital for a urinary infection, heart problems and other health issues.
His body will lie in state at the capitol building before being buried in an Islamic cemetery in provincial Buenos Aires.
Menem won re-election after he privatized creaky state enterprises in a massive transformation of Argentine institutions in the early 1990s and the economy flourished.
But he left office under a cloud — charged with corruption and conducting illegal arms deals in 1991 and 1995 with Croatia and Ecuador.