Seasoned bureaucrat P C Alexander, a close aide of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, died of cancer at a hospital in Chennai on Wednesday at the age of 90.
Alexander, who had served as the governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, was undergoing treatment at the Madras Medical Mission Hospital for the last few weeks and breathed his last on Wednesday morning, hospital sources said.
He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
Alexander, a Rajya Sabha member from 2002-2008, held eminent positions in his five-decade long career as a public servant.
Alexander's name was considered for the post of President during the National Democratic Alliance's rule in 2002 to succeed K R Narayanan. He lost the race due to certain political complexities at the time, leading to the election of A P J Abdul Kalam. An upset Alexander had then resigned as Maharashtra governor.
He held the gubernatorial post for over 11 years both in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
In his bureaucratic career, Alexander, a 1948 batch IAS officer, left his own imprint for his standards of efficiency, impartiality and integrity.
It was these qualities that took him to the post of principal secretary to late prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi between 1981 and 1985.
Alexander served as the high commissioner for India in London and held senior posts in the United Nations Civil Service for 10 years.
Enriched by his rich administrative experience, Alexander had won acclaim and admiration as a gifted and erudite speaker on a wide range of subjects.
Alexander has authored several books, articles and research papers. Some of the books include My Years with Indira Gandhi, The Perils of Democracy and India in the New Millennium.