Former deputy prime minister Amnuay Viravan died of pneumonia on Tuesday afternoon at the age of 90.
The veteran public servant and politician, who also served as finance minister and foreign affairs minister, passed away at around 2.30pm.
Funeral rites will be conducted at Sala Sitthisayamkarn or Sala 4 at Wat That Thong in Bangkok from Wednesday to next Tuesday.
A graduate of the Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy at Chulalongkorn University in 1952, Amnuay subsequently went to the United States, obtaining master’s degrees in business administration and economics, followed by a PhD in business administration from the University of Michigan in 1958.
He began his public service career in what was then known as the Ministry of National Development from 1963-72. He also served as secretary-general of the Board of Investment from 1967-71. He then joined the Finance Ministry and held several key posts including director-general of the Customs Department from 1973-75 and permanent secretary for Finance from 1975-77.
He first entered politics as an adviser to Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn in 1963. He became a member of the National Legislative Assembly in 1973 and again in 1980, when he was made finance minister. He became deputy prime minister in 1992 in the government of Chuan Leekpai.
He contested the general election in 1995 and was appointed deputy prime minister and finance minister in 1996. He quit the post during the financial crisis that struck the country in 1997.
In 2015 Amnuay donated $2 million to the University of Michigan, home to one of the largest Buddhist studies programmes in North America, to endow a professorship of Thai Buddhism, with matching support provided by the Crown Property Bureau.
Amnuay was married to Khunying Samornsri Viravan. The couple have two children: Amornpimol Viravan and Takonkiet Viravan, chief executive of the media and entertainment company The One Enterprise Plc.