David Trimble, former prime minister and key author of the Good Friday Agreement, has died at the age of 77.

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David Trimble, former Northern Ireland The first minister who helped end decades of violence has died at the age of 77.

Ulster Unionist Partywhich Trimble led from 1995 to 2005, the unionist politician died on Monday “after a short illness,” according to a statement.

Trimble was instrumental in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which ended three decades of violent conflict in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles.

The UUP was the largest Protestant trade union party in Northern Ireland when, led by Trimble, it agreed to the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

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Although Trimble was a union hardliner as a young man, he became a politician whose compromise efforts became key in uniting unionists and nationalists in the new power-sharing government of Northern Ireland.

Trimble shared the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with Catholic moderate leader John Hume, head of the Social Democratic and Labor Party, for their work.

FILE: Admired Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble speaks to the media at a hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 16, 2003, after his party won a decisive vote for its enduring support for the Irish peace process.

FILE: Admired Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble speaks to the media at a hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 16, 2003, after his party won a decisive vote for its enduring support for the Irish peace process.
(AP Photo/Peter Morrison, file)

Trimble lost his seat in the British Parliament in 2005 and resigned as party leader shortly thereafter. The following year he was appointed to the upper house of Parliament, the House of Lords. Northern Ireland’s power-sharing has since gone through many crises, but the peace settlement has largely survived.

“The Good Friday Agreement is something everyone in Northern Ireland agreed on,” Trimble said earlier this year. “That doesn’t mean they agree with everything. There are aspects that some people considered a mistake, but the main thing is that it was agreed upon.”

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Trimble is survived by his wife Daphne and children Richard, Victoria, Nicholas and Sarah.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.