Menem took office in July 1989 and promoted laws to reform the government and the economy after his predecessor, Raúl Alfonsín, resigned in the middle of a deep financial crisis caused by hyperinflation. Menem privatized some companies that had until that point been under state authority and was able to get inflation under control.
He remained active in politics by becoming a senator with the Justicialist Party representing La Rioja province from 2005 until 2019. He then joined forces with the Peronist coalition called “Front of All” and was re-elected to another term that would have run until 2023.
Menem had three children with his wife Zulema Yoma, before the couple divorced in 1991. He later married Chilean TV host and actress Cecilia Bolocco, with whom he had one child. Their marriage ended 10 years later.
Argentina’s current President Alberto Fernández decreed three days of national mourning starting Sunday in honor of Menem.