Günter Rexrodt, a member of Germany's Free Democratic party (FDP) and a former economics minister, has died of cancer at the age of 62, according to an announcement made by his party's leadership on Thursday. "The Free Democrats have not only lost a successful politician, but a colleague with whom many of us established a friendship," said FDP head Guido Westerwelle. In a career that alternated between business and politics, Rexrodt rose through the party ranks to become economics minister in Chancellor Helmut Kohl's government in 1993, a post he held until 1998. He also held many prominent positions in the private sector, including serving as the chief executive officer of Citibank in Frankfurt. Further details about the nature of his illness and funeral arrangements have not been made public.