09/09/2011 12:37 EDT | Updated 11/09/2011 05:12 EST

Michel Roy, former diplomat and journalist, dies at the age of 81

MONTREAL - Michel Roy, a former diplomat and journalist whose media career spanned some four decades, has died following a degenerative disease.

Roy died on Thursday at the age of 81.

In 1953, the Ottawa-born Roy joined The Canadian Press news agency and remained there for about four years.

He then spent the next 25 years at Montreal Le Devoir, where he served as interim publisher between 1978 and 1981.

He joined Montreal La Presse as chief editorial writer in 1982 before becoming the newspaper's deputy publisher.

He left in 1988 to work as a freelance journalist.

In the early 1990s, he joined then-prime minister Brian Mulroney’s office as a political and constitutional adviser.

In June 1993, Roy was appointed ambassador to Tunisia and Libya. He returned to Canada in 1996 to teach journalism at both the Universite de Laval and the Universite de Montreal.

He later served as head of Quebec's press council for several years.

Roy was awarded the Order of Canada in 1987.