Charles Manson, the leader of a 1960's cult whose followers murdered seven people, has died of natural causes at the age 83 on Sunday (19 November) at a hospital in Bakersfield, California.

The news of Manson's death was confirmed by Debra Tate, sister of actress Sharon Tate, who was one among the seven killed in 1969. Debra said she got a call from prison officials stating his death.

Manson returned to the medical care in mid-November after being hospitalised in January. His health situation seemed to deteriorate ever since he was sent back to the hospital for internal bleeding.

He spent 46 years in prison. Manson served nine life terms in California prisons and was denied parole 12 times, CNN reports.

"He was the dictatorial ruler of the (Manson) family, the king, the Maharaja. And the members of the family were slavishly obedient to him," Victor Bugliosi, best known for prosecuting Manson, told CNN in 2015.

Following the Leader:

Since Manson got convicted, he and his followers have been the subject of many documentaries and books.

"Manson Family" of followers' killing spree began on 9 August 1969, when they first killed Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months' pregnant.

Along with Tate, a celebrity hairstylist named Jay Sebring; coffee fortune heiress Abigail Folger; writer Wojciech Frykowski; and Steven Parent, a friend of the family's caretaker were all killed on that day.

The next day, a wealthy couple in Los Angeles -- Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary -- were killed by the Manson Family at their home.

It has been reported that Manson only ordered the killings and he himself did not participate.

Manson and three of his followers -- Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten -- went on trial in Los Angeles on 16 June 1970.

According to the CNN report, Manson and his followers were never serious during the trial as they would sing, giggle and come to court with an 'X' carving on their foreheads.

Manson was initially sentenced to death but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after California invalidated the state's death penalty statute in 1972.

He was also convicted in connection with the murders of Gary Hinman, a musician, and stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea in 1969.

Manson's life:

Charles Manson's actual name was Charles Maddox. He was born in Cincinnati in 1934 to an unmarried 16-year-old mother. He got the last name Manson from his then-stepfather William Manson.

From the age of 12, Manson has been in and out of prison for various crimes. He reportedly convinced a number of his followers that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Manson used a combination of drugs and genuine charisma which brought the "family" under his control, a BBC report said.

Manson was married twice and spent more than half his life in prison. At the age of 32, he made his way to Berkeley, California, and called himself as a guru in the Summer of Love. He was seen sharing a home with 18 women, CNN reported.

Laurie Levenson, a professor at the Loyola Law School, who follows high-profile cases, called Manson as the worst of the worst, evil incarnate in 2009.

"If you're going to be evil, you have to be off-the-charts evil, and Charlie Manson was off-the-charts evil," Levenson told CNN.

Charles Manson
Charles Manson, who spent 46 years in prison, has died. Getty