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Yitzhak Navon, Former Israeli President, Dies at 94

  • Associated Press

FILE - Then Presidents Jimmy Carter, left, of the United States and Yitzhak Navon of Israel meet in Jerusalem, March 11, 1979. Navon, who served as Israel's fifth president, died Nov. 7, 2015, his family said. He was 94.

FILE - Then Presidents Jimmy Carter, left, of the United States and Yitzhak Navon of Israel meet in Jerusalem, March 11, 1979. Navon, who served as Israel's fifth president, died Nov. 7, 2015, his family said. He was 94.

Yitzhak Navon, who served as Israel's fifth president, has died. He was 94.

His family said he died Saturday.

Navon was a top aide to Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion. Later he embarked on a political career in the Labor Party.

He served as president between 1978 and 1983 and had a lengthy term as education minister. He quit politics in 1992 and became a successful author and playwright.

Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog remembered Navon as a member of Israel's founding generation who "built our national home with their own hands."

Centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid called him a "moderating, embracing, respecting voice that is so missing these days."

Navon was born in Jerusalem to a Sephardi family descended from Spanish Jews expelled in the inquisition of 1492.

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