Former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the billionaire tycoon who oversaw the post-civil war reconstruction of Beirut, died Monday in a Beirut car bombing. He was 60.
Mr. Hariri became prime minister in 1992 as optimism swept Lebanon two years after the end of its 15-year civil war. He began massive rebuilding projects, while backing Syrian efforts to consolidate political control in Lebanon.
While dogged by accusations of corruption, Mr. Hariri was also widely known for his philanthropy. He is said to have paid the education bills of 30,000 Lebanese students, and donated tens of millions of dollars of his own money to Lebanese charities.
He quit the government in 1998, but returned in 2000 and served as prime minister until quitting again in late 2004, after Lebanon's pro-Syrian parliament voted to extend the term of pro-Syrian president and political rival Emile Lahoud.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.