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Jerusalem's Longtime Mayor 'Teddy' Kollek Dies at 95


Longtime Jerusalem mayor Theodor "Teddy" Kollek has died at the age of 95.

Israeli authorities say Kollek died Tuesday morning.

He was Jerusalem's mayor for nearly three decades and widely regarded as a champion of co-existence of Arabs and Jews in the holy city.

Kollek was elected mayor of Jewish West Jerusalem in 1965 - two years before Israel captured the eastern party of the city. He was re-elected several times and ruled the city for 28 years before losing in 1993 to current Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Born on May 27, 1911 and raised in Vienna, Kollek migrated to Israel at age 24.

Before becoming mayor of Jerusalem, Kollek worked as a top aide to Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, for 12 years (1952 - 1964).

Known as "Teddy" to both friends and political foes, Kollek worked energetically trying to balance the needs of Jerusalem's diverse interest groups, and preached fairness and co-existence to city's Arabs. He also led a major building effort in the holy city, adding new neighborhoods, parks and highways.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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