World

Former Tel Aviv mayor who presided over city's growth dead at 87

  • FILE - In this Oct. 23, 1993 file photo, New York City Mayor David Dinkins, center, joins in a conversation with Tel Aviv Mayor Shlomo Lahat, right, and Mrs. Lea Rabin, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, at a reception for the Tel Aviv Foundation in New York. Former Tel Aviv mayor Lahat, who presided over the city's transformation into a vibrant and open urban center, has died at the age of 87. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 23, 1993 file photo, New York City Mayor David Dinkins, center, joins in a conversation with Tel Aviv Mayor Shlomo Lahat, right, and Mrs. Lea Rabin, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, at a reception for the Tel Aviv Foundation in New York. Former Tel Aviv mayor Lahat, who presided over the city's transformation into a vibrant and open urban center, has died at the age of 87. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • ALTERNATE CROP - FILE - In this Oct. 23, 1993 file photo, Tel Aviv Mayor Shlomo Lahat attends a reception for the Tel Aviv Foundation in New York. Former Tel Aviv mayor Lahat, who presided over the city's transformation into a vibrant and open urban center, has died at the age of 87. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)

    ALTERNATE CROP - FILE - In this Oct. 23, 1993 file photo, Tel Aviv Mayor Shlomo Lahat attends a reception for the Tel Aviv Foundation in New York. Former Tel Aviv mayor Lahat, who presided over the city's transformation into a vibrant and open urban center, has died at the age of 87. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.