Yitzhak Navon, who served as Israel's fifth president, has died. He was 94.

His family said he died Saturday.

Navon was a top aide to Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion. Later he embarked on a political career in the Labor Party. He served as president between 1978 and 1983 and had a lengthy term as education minister. He quit politics in 1992 and became a successful author and playwright.

Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog remembered Navon as a member of Israel's founding generation who "built our national home with their own hands." Centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid called him a "moderating, embracing, respecting voice that is so missing these days."

Navon was born in Jerusalem to a Sephardi family descended from Spanish Jews expelled in the inquisition of 1492.