LISBON, Portugal – Mario Soares, a former prime minister and president of Portugal who helped steer his country toward democracy after a 1974 military coup and grew into a global statesman, has died. He was 92.
Portugal's Socialist Party, which Soares once led, said he died Saturday. It did not give further details, but Soares had been hospitalized since Dec. 13.
Soares, a moderate Socialist, returned from 12 years of political exile after the so-called Carnation Revolution toppled Portugal's four-decade dictatorship.
He was elected prime minister and thwarted Communist Party attempts to bring Portugal under Soviet Union influence during the Cold War. Soares eventually helped guide his country from dictatorship to a place in the European Union.
In 1986, he became Portugal's first civilian president in 60 years and served two five-year terms.