The office of publisher and philanthropist George Weidenfeld has announced that he died in London. He was 96.

The announcement made Wednesday didn't provide details about his death.

Weidenfeld was a member of the House of Lords who had recently launched an initiative to help save Christians facing persecution at the hands of Islamic State extremists in the Middle East.

He had been born in Austria and fled his native country at the start of World War II to avoid Nazi persecution of Jews.

Weidenfeld said his work on behalf of persecuted Christians was an effort to thank British Quakers for helping him when he first arrived in Britain. He had a lengthy career in publishing and also wrote newspaper columns and books.