MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian news reports say Andrei Voznesensky, one of the most daring and popular poets of the Soviet era, has died at age 77.

Voznesensky was one of the so-called "children of the '60s," a generation of thinkers who tasted intellectual freedom during the post-Stalin thaw.

His innovative verse thrilled readers but irked authorities and was criticized by orthodox Soviet writers. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev once threatened to exile him.

Like fellow poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Voznesensky's readings once filled stadiums, but his popularity flagged with the increasing freedom of the glasnost era in the late 1980s.

The state news agency ITAR-Tass and TV channel Rossiya-24 did not give a cause for Voznesensky's death Tuesday.