Nigerian President Umaru Yar Adua had a history of kidney problems. His death was caused by that.
Mr Yar'Adua, a former chemistry teacher elected in May 2007, had not been seen in public since last November since he flew to Saudi Arabia to be treated for heart trouble. He was diagnosed with acute pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane around the heart.
Photo of Nigerian President Umaru Yar Adua.
A spokesman confirmed Mr Yar-Adua passed away with his wife Turai at his side at his Aso Rock presidential villa in Lagos shortly after 8.30pm GMT.
His departure from office led to high drama in the political system of Africa's most populous nation after he failed to formally transfer his powers, sparking a constitutional crisis.
Constant tension between his supporters and those of the acting president reached fever pitch in March when Mr Goodluck dismissed the entire Yar'Adua-formed cabinet.
Yar'Adua was born on Aug. 16, 1951, in the northern city of Katsina to a distinguished political family. His father was a minister in the first post-independence cabinet and his elder brother was number two in former president Olusegun Obasanjo's 1976-1979 military government.
Vice President Goodluck Jonathan has served as the country's acting leader since Yar'Adua fell ill.
Yar'Adua took office in 2007 in an election mired in controversy and accusations of vote-rigging.
"There was ballot snatching, voters were molested, voters were beaten ... and also payment inducement to vote for certain candidates," said Eneruvie Enakoko of the Civil Liberties Organization, a human rights group in Lagos.
While a careful approach to governance distinguished Yar'Adua from his predecessor, it failed to move the machinery of government and the public soured on the president as electric power remained scarce and blocks-long gasoline queues remained common in Nigeria's major cities.