Two cars collided on the A90 south of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire at about 7am.
Police said the male driver of a north-bound blue Peugeot died at the scene.
A man travelling southwards in a black BMW has been airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with serious injuries. He is said to be in a stable condition.
The A90 was shut in both directions following the accident near Peterhead power station.
Police said the man who died was 66. His relatives have been informed.
A spokesman said: "The road is currently closed and is likely to remain closed for some time. Local diversions are in place.
"Enquiries into the circumstances of the incident are continuing and anybody who may have witnessed the incident is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101."