Former Tel Aviv mayor Shlomo Lahat has died at the age of 87.

Lahat's son Dan told Israel's Channel 10 that his father died in a Tel Aviv hospital early Wednesday.

Born in Germany in 1927, Lahat rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Israeli army and went into politics in 1973.

He served as mayor of Tel Aviv between 1974 and 1993, presiding over its transformation into a vibrant and open urban center, easily distinguishable from the much more religious and restrained Jerusalem.

Known popularly as "Chich," Lahat was formally affiliated with the hard-line Likud Party, but became a strong supporter of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the main force behind Israeli peace efforts with Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization. Rabin was assassinated in Tel Aviv in 1995.