Andrew Kohut, a leading pollster for more than three decades and founding director of the Pew Research Center has died.

Kohut's son, Matthew, said his father died Tuesday from a form of leukemia. He was 73.

A president of The Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989, Kohut later helped start the Washington-based Pew Research Center. The center runs independent surveys of U.S. public opinion on politics, public policy and the press.

Kohut's regular presence in print, radio and television to provide survey commentary led the Washington Examiner in 2008 to describe him as "the public face of public opinion polling."

Pew president Michael Dimock praised Kohut as an innovator who always reminded his colleagues that polling is more than just numbers. It's about people.