Former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed passes away at age 84

Peter Lougheed/CPPeter Lougheed, former longtime premier of Alberta, is reported to have passed away at the age of 84.

Postmedia reports that Lougheed passed away in the hospital that bears his name on September 13.

According to Metro News Edmonton, Lougheed's family announced his passing in a statement to the press late in the evening:

"It is with great sadness that the family of The Honourable E. Peter Lougheed, the tenth Premier of the Province of Alberta, announce that he passed away peacefully today from natural causes in Calgary, Alberta. He was 84 years of age."

Lougheed leaves behind a wife, four children and seven grandchildren.

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Reports of Lougheed entering hospital for an undisclosed heart condition surfaced earlier this week.

The family says they will be holding a private service, and plans for a public memorial will be announced later.

During his career, the Calgary lawyer toppled the long-governing Social Credit in 1971 and would lead the Progressive Conservatives until 1985, building a dynasty that has been in power for more than 40 years.

He thrust Alberta onto the national station as he transformed the province into an economic powerhouse and battled the federal government over control of oil wealth.

He was immensely popular with voters who gave the Tories ever-larger majorities as they reshaped Alberta into a force in Canadian politics.

This summer, Lougheed was named the best Canadian premier of the last 40 years by the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

With files from The Canadian Press