Stanislav Gross, who became the Czech Republic's youngest prime minister but was forced to resign nine months later, has died at the age of 45.

The Social Democratic Party says Gross died Thursday. Public television says he had been battling illness.

Gross became premier at the age of 34 in July 2004 and took over as chairman of the leftist Social Democrats. But his career at the top of politics was brief.

He resigned nine months later after weeks of political crisis sparked by a scandal over the financing of his luxury apartment.

President Milos Zeman, in whose government Gross served as interior minister, offered his condolences.

Gross is survived by wife Sarka and two daughters.