Fidel Castro, the Cuban despot who famously proclaimed after his arrest in a failed coup attempt that history would absolve him, has died at age 90. Castro’s brother and the nation’s President of several years, Raul, announced his death Friday on Cuban TV. At the end, an elderly and infirm Castro was a whisper of the Marxist firebrand whose iron will and passionate determination bent the arc of destiny.

“There are few individuals in the 20th century who had a more profound impact on a single country than Fidel Castro had in Cuba,” Robert Pastor, a former national security adviser for President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s, told CNN in 2012. “He reshaped Cuba in his image, for both bad and good,” said Pastor, who died in 2014. READ MORE