Niki Lauda, Formula One champion and aviation entrepreneur, dies at 70

Austrian Formula One driver Niki Lauda at the Dutch Grand Prix, Circuit Park Zandvoort, Netherlands, 1st September 1977. (Photo by McCarthy/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

VIENNA (AP) — Three-time Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, who won two of his titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, has died. He was 70.

The Austria Press Agency reported Lauda’s family saying in a statement he “passed away peacefully” on Monday. Walter Klepetko, a doctor who carried out a lung transplant on Lauda last year, said Tuesday: “Niki Lauda has died. I have to confirm that.”

Lauda twice underwent kidney transplants, receiving an organ donated by his brother in 1997 and a kidney donated by his girlfriend in 2005.

In August last year, he underwent a lung transplant that the Vienna General Hospital said was made necessary by a “serious lung illness.”

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