Shevardnadze, first president of Georgia, dies - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Shevardnadze, first president of Georgia, dies

Posted: Updated:
President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia is shown during a meeting with Secretary of Defense William Cohen, not shown, at the Pentagon in 1997. (Source: DOD) President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia is shown during a meeting with Secretary of Defense William Cohen, not shown, at the Pentagon in 1997. (Source: DOD)
  • Most ReadMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Sex allegations lead to investigation at PACE Head Start

    Sex allegations lead to investigation at PACE Head Start

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:52 PM EDT2014-07-25 23:52:45 GMT
    An interim agency will take over operations of the Forrest County PACE Head Start Program due to the failure of properly reporting sexual abuse allegations. The Administration for Children and FamiliesMore >>
    An interim agency will take over operations of the Forrest County PACE Head Start Program due to the failure of properly reporting sexual abuse allegations.More >>
  • Laurel construction company sued over damaged Lake Serene dam

    Laurel construction company sued over damaged Lake Serene dam

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-07-25 22:04:27 GMT
    The Lake Serene Homeowners Association filed suit against Bush construction company of Laurel, blaming the company and its agents for damaging the dam that separates two of the five neighboring lakes. AccordingMore >>
    The Lake Serene Homeowners Association filed suit against Bush construction company of Laurel, blaming the company and its agents for damaging the dam that separates two of the five neighboring lakes.More >>
  • Several charged after drug bust in Marion County

    Several charged after drug bust in Marion County

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:50 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:50:46 GMT
    Marion County Sheriff's Department and the Marion County Narcotics Task Force made five drug arrests during a search warrant in Columbia Thursday. Agents seized several pounds of high grade marijuanaMore >>
    Marion County Sheriff's Department and the Marion County Narcotics Task Force made five drug arrests during a search warrant in Columbia Thursday.More >>
(RNN) – Eduard Shevardnadze, the first president of Georgia, died Monday.

The 86-year-old died after a long illness, his assistant reported to the Associated Press.

He became the Soviet Union's minister of foreign affairs in 1985 under reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Shevardnadze was a reformer himself, according to the BBC. His tenure took place in a rapidly changing world, and he was able to oversee a transformation in Soviet foreign policy that led to withdrawal from Afghanistan and Central Europe and a reduction in nuclear weapons.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Shevardnadze became the first head of state of newly independent Georgia in 1992.

Shevardnadze was initially a popular leader, who helped guide his country through the chaos following the collapse of the USSR. However, the president was forced to resign after a November 2003 revolt over disputed election results, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.