Chennai: Seasoned bureaucrat P C Alexander, a close aide of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, died of cancer at a hospital here on Wednesday at the age of 90.

Alexander, who had served as the Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, was undergoing treatment at Madras Medical Mission Hospital for the last few weeks and breathed his last on Wednesday morning, hospital sources said.

He is survived by wife, two sons and two daughters.

Alexander, a Rajya Sabha member from 2002-2008, held eminent positions in his five-decade long career as a public servant.

Alexander's name was considered for the post of President during the NDA rule in 2002 to succeed K R Narayanan but he lost the race due to certain political complexities at the time, leading to the election of APJ Abdul Kalam. An upset Alexander had then resigned as Maharashtra Governor.

He held the gubernatorial post for over 11 years both in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

In his bureaucratic career, Alexander, an 1948 batch IAS officer, left his own imprint for his standards of efficiency, impartiality and integrity.

It was these qualities that took him to the post of Principal Secretary to late Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi from 1981 to 85.

Alexander served as High Commissioner for India in London and held senior posts in the U.N. Civil Service for 10 years.

Enriched by his rich administrative experience, Alexander had won the acclaim and admiration as a gifted and erudite speaker on a wide range of subjects.

Alexander has authored several books, articles and research papers. Some of books include "My Years with Indira Gandhi", "The Perils of Democracy" and "India in the New Millennium."