Corneliu Vadim Tudor, a nationalist politician and court poet to late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who attracted audiences by saying what mainstream politicians didn't dare, has died. He was 65.

Tudor died Monday hours after having been admitted to the Army's Emergency Clinic for Cardiovascular Disease, said friend Marius Marinescu.

Tudor began as a writer and poet and penned verses flattering Ceausescu. After communism collapsed, he founded the nationalist Greater Romania Party and the Greater Romania weekly, a publication which in its heyday had a circulation of hundreds of thousands.

He wrote disparaging and racist articles, usually laced with humor, about Jews, Hungarians and liberal-minded Romanians. He was a lawmaker in the European Parliament from 2009 to 2014.

He lost the presidential race in 2000, to Ion Iliescu, who was elected president for a third time.