Donald Nichols, a nationally renowned economist and former director of the University of Wisconsin La Follette School of Public Affairs, died Friday night at age 72.

The UW professor emeritus of public affairs and economics died of liver cirrhosis complications caused by hepatitis C, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

According to the UW’s website, Nichols served as the director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs from 2002 to 2006. According to the Wisconsin Academy of Science Arts and Letters, he built the program to national recognition and played an integral role in creating UW’s Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy.

Nichols was also a recognizable figure in Wisconsin politics, who served on Gov. Jim Doyle’s Economic Advisory Council and was also Gov. Tony Earl’s executive secretary of the Council on Economic Affairs.

At the national level, Nichols was part of the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1963 and then worked with the U.S Senate Budget Committee and Department of Labor in the 1970s.

He was also previously the director on the Board of Thompson Plumb Funds Inc. since 1987 and was named chairman in 2009.

Born in Madison, Conn., in 1940, Nichols attended Yale University and earned his doctorate there before joining UW’s Department of Economics in 1966.

Nichols is survived by his wife, Jane Bartels, his two children, granddaughter, two brothers and a sister, according to the State Journal.

In response to the news, the @UWMadison account tweeted: “Sad news: UW mourning the loss of @UWLaFollette emeritus professor Don Nichols.”