Israeli author Uri Dan, the longtime chronicler and confidant of Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, died on Sunday at a hospital near Tel Aviv. He was 71 years old.

He first made the acquaintance of then-Gen. Sharon in the 1950s. Dan jumped with the Israeli paratroopers in the Sinai at the Battle of Mitla Pass in 1956 and documented Sharon's crossing of the Suez Canal in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Dan also served as Sharon's spokesman when he was defense minister during the Lebanon War in 1982.

Dan was a longtime contributor to the New York Post. He recently authored a memoir chronicling his 50-year relationship with Sharon entitled "Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait."

FOX News' Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.