Cardinal Avery Dulles, 90, a convert to Roman Catholicism and the first U.S. theologian named a cardinal, died Friday in New York.

Cardinal Dulles, a Jesuit and son of a U.S. secretary of state, died in an infirmary at Fordham University, where he was a professor for two decades, according to the Rev. Jim Martin, of America, a Jesuit magazine that regularly published Cardinal Dulles' articles.

Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Dulles in 2001 to the College of Cardinals, making him the first American Jesuit and the first U.S. theologian outside of a diocese to be named a cardinal. He was considered the dean of American Catholic theologians.

Cardinal Dulles came from a family of American statesmen.

The grandson of a Presbyterian minister, he was the son of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who served under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The cardinal's uncle was Allen Dulles, who led the CIA in the Eisenhower administration.

- AP