Omar Suleiman who served briefly as vice president of Egypt during the revolution, died in the U.S. on the early hours of Thursday.

According to state news agency MENA, the 77-year-old stalwart of the old regime died in Cleveland of a sudden heart attack after suffering heart and lung problems. Preparations are under way to bring his body home for burial, his assistant, Hussein Kamal, told Reuters.

Suleiman was a powerful head of Egypt's Intelligence Service and one of the most powerful spymasters in the Middle East.  Popularly known as the black box, Suleiman was Hosni Mubarak's most trusted adviser. A former lieutenant general in the Egyptian Military, Suleiman was an opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood extremists and came on the bad side of the masses after making public speeches about Egypt not being ready for a democracy.

In one of the more widely quoted tales of Suleiman's alleged ruthlessness, according to Ron Suskind, a journalist and expert on the George W. Bush government, when U.S. intelligence officials asked Suleiman for a DNA sample from a relative of Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahri, he offered to send the agency the brother's entire arm instead.

Suleiman reportedly left Egypt after a failed bid to run in the presidential election this May. President Mohamed Morsi sent his condolences to Suleiman's family. His spokesman Yassir Ali told MENA that Suleiman would receive a military funeral