Romanian ultranationalist politician Corneliu Vadim Tudor makes his way out of a voting station in Bucharest, Romania, in 2000. (Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press)

Corneliu Vadim Tudor, an ultranationalist politician and court poet to the late Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu who attracted audiences by saying what mainstream politicians didn’t dare, died Sept. 14, it was reported from Bucharest. He was 65.

The cause was cardiovascular disease, said a friend, Marius Marinescu.

Mr. Tudor began as a writer and poet and penned verses flattering Ceausescu. After communism collapsed, he founded the nationalist Greater Romania Party and the Greater Romania weekly, a publication which in its heyday in the early 1990s had a circulation of hundreds of thousands.

He wrote disparaging articles about Jews, Hungarians, Roma and liberal-minded Romanians. He was a lawmaker in the European Parliament from 2009 to 2014.

In a 2012 television interview, he denied the Holocaust took place in Romania. During World War II, hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed in Romania and areas it controlled as an ally of Nazi Germany. Romania only began to commemorate the Holocaust in 2004.

He surprisingly reached the runoffs of the 2000 presidential race, which he lost to Ion Iliescu, who was elected president for a third time.

Iliescu praised Mr. Tudor as “a man of culture” who loved his country and said he should not be judged “superficially.”

Mr. Tudor wrote more than a dozen books and was also known for his flamboyant style of dressing, wit, ready insults and love of stray dogs. He was often cut off by television presenters because of his over-the-top remarks. He was the only politician to say he believed that Romania had housed CIA secret prisons.

Mr. Tudor was born in Bucharest on Nov. 28, 1949. He graduated from the University of Bucharest in 1971 and spent nearly two decades as a journalist, including many years with the Romanian news agency Agerpres.

Survivors include his wife and two daughters.

— Associated Press