South & Central Asia
VOA News
13 May 2003
, 20:25 UTC

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Dies at 70

Philanthropist and humanitarian Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan has died in the United States after a long illness. He was 70.

An official at one of Prince Sadruddin's foundations said the prince died Monday at a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Details of his illness have not been released.

Prince Sadruddin, a Harvard-educated expert on Islamic art, is the uncle of the current Aga Khan, Karim, who is the leader of the world's 15 million Ismaili Muslims.

He began a long career in international diplomacy with the United Nations as a cultural and scientific advisor on Afro-Asian projects.

He also became the longest serving U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, remaining in the office from 1965 to 1977. There, he led efforts to cope with the Bangladeshi refugee crisis of the early 1970s. He also helped find homes for tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who fled their communist homeland in the mid 1970s.

More recently he was coordinator for U.N. humanitarian and economic assistance to Afghanistan from 1988 to 1990. After leaving the United Nations, he was involved in environmental protection programs.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters