Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the former head of the military council that ruled Egypt temporarily after the 2011 uprising, has died at the age of 85, Egypt's presidency said today.
He led the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) that ruled Egypt for a year-and-a-half after the removal of long-ruling President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Tantawi was too close to Mubarak to be personally popular with protesters who led the uprising in Tahrir Square, even though the army's move to appease the demonstrators by deposing Mubarak won the military their gratitude as an institution.
But the desire for change and respect for the troops under Tantawi's command trumped concerns many had when he took power.
Tantawi was sacked as defence minister in August 2012, a few weeks after the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi became president in the first free and fair elections in Egypt's modern history.
Tantawi then disappeared from view until President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to power after leading a bloody military coup to overthrow Morsi in 2013 amid mass protests. He was honoured by Al-Sisi and used to appear beside him in various public events.
Al-Sisi mourned Tantawi in a statement and offered condolences to his family.
Tantawi was "a leader and a statesman who took the responsibility of running the country during a very difficult period, during which he wisely and competently confronted the looming dangers that surrounded Egypt," the statement said.
The general command of the armed forces and cabinet also mourned the former military leader.