Ronald Koven, who fought for journalists' rights in the former Soviet bloc and around the world for the World Press Freedom Committee after a rich journalism career, has died. He was 80 years old.

UNESCO Director Irina Bokova called him a "man of tremendous moral stature" for his work defending press freedom.

Born in Paris in 1935, Koven covered Charles de Gaulle's presidency in the 1960s and later worked as the Washington Post's diplomatic editor and foreign editor, and wrote many years for the Boston Globe.

He was the Europe representative for the WPFC until his death.

The committee's Paris representative Virginia Power said Wednesday that Koven died in Paris on Friday after a long battle with cancer.

A funeral will be held at Père Lachaise cemetery on Friday.