Jean Baudrillard, the French sociologist and philosopher and critic of globalisation and consumerism, has died in Paris at the age of 77.
Baudrillard died on Tuesday at his home in Paris after a long illness, said Michel Delorme, of the Galilee publishing house.
Baudrillard was a prolific writer and renowned photographer who first attracted worldwide attention in 1991 with the deliberately provocative claim that the Gulf War "did not take place".
He was one of Europe's leading postmodernist thinkers known for his provocative commentaries on consumerism.
Critic of modern society
Baudrillard argued that neither side could claim victory by the end of the war and that the conflict had changed nothing on the ground in Iraq.
Just over a decade on, in an essay entitled The Spirit of Terrorism: Requiem for the Twin Towers, he courted fresh controversy by describing the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States as an expression of "triumphant globalisation battling against itself".
Born in Rheims on July 29, 1929, into a peasant family, he studied German at the Sorbonne, later working as a teacher and translator of Bertolt Brecht before his interests turned to sociology.
Baudrillard taught sociology throughout the 1960s and went on to develop a stinging - some say nihilistic - critique of modern society.
He was the author of more than 50 works including: The Mirror of Production (1973), Simulacra and Simulation (1981), America (1986), and The Spirit of Terrorism: A Requiem for the Twin Towers (2002).