JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Egyptian head of intelligence and one-time presidential candidate Omar Suleiman died in a U.S. hospital.
Suleiman, a close confident of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, who named him vice president just days before he was deposed, died at the Cleveland Clinic after undergoing heart surgery. He was 76.
Suleiman was head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Services for nearly two decades, and was on good terms with the United States, Israel and the Palestinians.
After Mubarak’s ouster, Suleiman – who had long been considered the natural successor to Mubarak – announced that he would run for president in the country’s first free elections. But in April, Egypt’s central elections committee ruled that he was ineligible. He reportedly left the country shortly afterwards.