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Yves Saint Laurent's partner Pierre Berge dies at 86

Pierre Berge, an influential French businessman and philanthropist who was late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent's romantic and business partner and championed gay rights, has died at the age of 86.

A cultural celebrity in France in his own right, Mr Berge was chief executive of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion empire and presided over the board of Le Monde newspaper, among his many high-profile roles.

He died in the provincial town of Saint-Remy-de-Provence early on Friday, said Marine Charlier, spokeswoman for Aids foundation Sidaction, where Mr Berge was president. She could not provide further details.

Mr Berge was best known for helping Saint Laurent build his own fashion house after leaving Christian Dior. Mr Berge was planning to inaugurate an Yves Saint Laurent museum in Paris next month.

AP

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