Lyndon LaRouche, the political figure who rose to prominence in the 1980s and ran for president more than half a dozen times, died Tuesday at age 96.

His organization, LaRouche PAC, confirmed the news on its website. Other details including location and cause of death weren't immediately available.

"Those who knew and loved Lyndon LaRouche know that humanity has suffered a great loss and, today, we dedicate ourselves anew to bring to reality the big ideas for which history will honor him," read a statement on the PAC's website.

The reclusive politician, who ran for president eight times including once from federal prison after his conviction on charges of scheming to defraud the IRS, lived out the later years of his life in a Leesburg, Va. compound, according to The Washington Post.


Born in September 1922, LaRouche was a conscientious objector to World War II, and served instead as a medic in Burma, according to the Post. He was often criticized throughout his life as a conspiracy theorist for spreading wild claims aimed at targets such as the British Empire and Jewish people, and was accused of wielding cultlike control over his closest followers.

His followers often ran for public office in state and local elections as members of the "National Democratic Policy Committee," and were accused of siphoning votes by tricking voters into believing they were voting for mainstream Democratic Party candidates.

In 1988, he was convicted of income tax evasion and mail fraud in addition to the charges of attempting to defraud the IRS, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, of which he served 5 years. He spent the rest of his life in heavily-guarded compounds in New York and Virginia.

Televangelist Jim Bakker wrote in his autobiography, according to the Post, that LaRouche had become largely paranoid of the government by the time he was locked up.

“To say that Lyndon was slightly paranoid would be like saying the Titanic had a bit of a leak," Bakker wrote, according to the Post.

He is survived by his wife, Helga Zepp.