Friday, November 5, 2010

Romanian Poet Who Praised Dictator Ceausescu Dies

Romanian poet who praised dictator Nicolae Ceausescu but remained a national favorite dies

The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania

Adrian Paunescu, Romania's most famous poet who praised ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, yet whose sentimental verse struck a chord with many Romanians has died. He was 67.

The Floreasca Emergency Hospital confirmed that Paunescu has died Friday morning from multiple organ failure.

Paunescu was a physically huge, larger-than-life character. He was a prolific writer who appeared on television several times a week. His last poem was penned from his hospital bed on Oct. 31.

During communism, he staged music and literary festivals, which made him popular, but was criticized by some for his flattering poems about Ceausescu.

Some Romanians say Paunescu would have earned greater respect if he had stayed out of politics. He was a senator for the Social Democracy Party until 2008 when he lost his seat.

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