Bob Hawke, who served as Australia's prime minister from 1983-1991 and led Labor to four consecutive election victories, has died at the age of 89.
His death was confirmed in a statement from his wife Blanche d'Alpuget, who said he died peacefully at home.
"Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian — many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era," the statement read.
"He died peacefully at home at the age of 89 years.
"I and Bob's children, Sue, Stephen, Rosslyn and stepson, Louis, and his grandchildren, will hold a private funeral.
"A memorial service will be held in Sydney in coming weeks.
"Bob Hawke and Paul Keating and their governments modernised the Australian economy, paving the way for an unprecedented period of recession-free economic growth and job creation."
d'Alpuget said Hawke "abhorred racism and bigotry" and believed in the equality of men and women.
"Among his proudest achievements were large increases in the proportion of children finishing high school, his role in ending apartheid in South Africa, and his successful international campaign to protect Antarctica from mining," she said.
The statement ended by saying Hawke was "dearly loved by his family, and so many friends and colleagues. We will miss him. The golden bowl is broken".
Condolences were led by Labor leader Bill Shorten, who said Hawke "inspired such profound affection and admiration, such loyalty and love among so many".
A day before his death, a letter had been released by Hawke endorsing Shorten's bid for prime minister.
"With his passing, the labour movement salutes our greatest son, the Labor Party gives thanks for the life of our longest-serving prime minister and Australians everywhere remember and honour a man who gave so much to the country and people he cared for so deeply," Shorten said.
Shorten added that Hawke was "a leader and statesman who inspired such profound affection and admiration, such loyalty and love among so many" and pointed out his role in a service Australians use everyday.
"Every Australian carries a monument to Bob Hawke with them, their Medicare card. A green-and-gold promise that the health of any one of us, matters to all of us," Shorten said.
Former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating said Hawke was "hoping for a Labor victory this weekend" and "his friends too, were hoping he would see this".
Keating said Hawke's death was an "enormous loss" and his passing marked the end of the "great partnership" they had enjoyed together.
"Bob Hawke is a giant of Australian politics. He and Paul Keating internationalised the Australian economy," former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement.
"He established Apec and radically deepened Australia's engagement with Asia. He established Medicare. Together with Therese and the entire nation, I mourn his passing."
Julia Gillard also shared a heartfelt statement in which she said "as a teenager Bob inspired me, as a PM he guided me".
"Without question, Bob was the greatest peacetime leader Australia has ever had. And up until his last days, he remained both an inspiration and a friend.
"When I last saw Bob, he was facing his own mortality with a sense of calm. He was ready and taking great comfort looking back on a life so well lived … today is a very sad day for me, for Bob's many friends, for the nation."
Tony Abbott raised eyebrows with his statement, in which he described Hawke as "Labor's greatest prime minister", who had a "Labor heart, but a Liberal head".
"Certainly, the Coalition supported nearly all of his big reforms, helping to make his tenure a time of economic revitalisation," the former Liberal PM said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also paid heartfelt tribute to Hawke and said she was "proud to know him".
Current prime minister Scott Morrison also paid tribute to the Labor luminary.
"Profoundly Australian, Bob Hawke was a conviction politician who became a political legend," the PM said in a statement.
"Bob Hawke was a great Australian who led and served our country with passion, courage, and an intellectual horsepower that made our country stronger.
"He was true to his beliefs in the Labor tradition and defined the politics of his generation and beyond … We remember him for his unique capacity to speak to all Australians as one — from everyday battlers to business leaders. His larrikinism was a big part of that.
"His popularity, coupled with his strong intellect and discipline, achieved many important reforms in the national interest, strongly supported by the Liberal and Nationals Opposition at the time."
In a press conference later, Morrison also noted Hawke had been responsible for the introduction of Advance Australia Fair as the national anthem.
"One thing I remember among many — it was Bob Hawke who changed our national anthem to say 'Australians all let us rejoice'," Morrison said.
Many Australians will remember Hawke most vividly as the relatable larrikin who skolled beers at the cricket every year.
But before his retirement from politics, he led one of the most significant governments in the country's history.
Hawke remains the longest-serving Australian Labor prime minister. No leader since, from either party, has matched the height of his popularity.
He modernised Australia's economy, deregulated the financial system, brokered landmark agreements with the trade unions and implemented Medicare as we know it today.
His partnership and rivalry with Paul Keating dominated politics for almost a decade, and the two men's combined legacy has lasted far longer than that.
Hawke's health had suffered in recent years. In December he said he was confident Labor would win the next election, but didn't think he would be around to see it.
"I've had my time," the former prime minister said.
He knew he had lived a full life.
THE EARLY YEARS
Hawke was born in Bordertown, South Australia in 1929. He was the son of a Congregationalist minister and a teacher — and the nephew of Albert Hawke, who would go on to serve as premier of Western Australia.
The family moved to Perth after Hawke's older brother Neil died at the age of 18, having contracted meningitis. Hawke had his own near-death experience in his late teens after a serious motorcycle accident.
He studied at the University of Western Australia, then at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar, where he submitted a thesis on wage-fixing in Australia — an appropriate topic, given his future career in the trade union movement and politics.
Hawke met his first wife Hazel at a church camp, and married her in 1956. Two years later, they moved to Melbourne and he took a job with the Australian Council of Trade Unions. He would go on to lead the ACTU for 10 years.
Bob and Hazel had four children, the youngest of whom, Robert Jr, was born with severe brain damage and only lived four days.
The couple were shattered. Soon after his youngest son's death, Hawke collapsed with alcohol poisoning. To escape the grief, he threw himself into his campaign for the presidency of the ACTU, which was ultimately successful.
During the 1970s, Hawke emerged as a popular leader in both the union movement and the Labor Party. He developed good relations with all sides, including employers, and it seemed a political career was inevitable.
He had already run for Parliament once, in 1963, when he lost to the incumbent Liberal minister Hubert Opperman.
But Hawke was also fighting personal demons. His womanising and drinking, which had earned him a reputation as a larrikin, was now threatening to derail his life.
After suffering a physical collapse in 1979, Hawke went public with his struggle against alcoholism, promising he would overcome it.
"He always knew that he wanted to be prime minister. So when he stopped, he didn't have a drop for something like 11 years," former Labor minister Graham Richardson later said.
Hawke's public confession did nothing to dampen his popularity, and by the time he ran for office again in 1980, polls showed he was more well-liked than both prime minister Malcolm Fraser and Labor leader Bill Hayden.
Hawke won the seat Wills, and in an unusual move, was immediately appointed to Labor's shadow cabinet as spokesman for industrial relations and employment.
Less than two years later, he challenged Hayden for the leadership, and only lost by five votes.
In February of 1983, Hayden was convinced to resign. Fraser, who had hoped to delay any leadership change until after the election, immediately went to the Governor-General to dissolve Parliament.
Hawke became opposition leader on February 8. The election was called for March 5. After less than a month in the job, he led Labor to its most lopsided election victory in 40 years.
Hawke's campaign slogan was "Bringing Australia together", and his first major act as prime minister reflected it.
He quickly convened an economic summit, which brought unions together with employers and all the political parties in an attempt to reach an economic consensus.
That collegial style of leadership sparked criticism from the left throughout Hawke's time in office, as some critics accused him of "hijacking" the Labor Party and being too close to business.
But voters rewarded him. With the Liberals in disarray, Hawke seized the centre of the political debate and won three more elections, in 1984, 1987 and 1990.
His government is best remembered for its economic reforms.
With the co-operation of ACTU secretary Bill Kelty, Hawke struck a series of landmark agreements with the union movement, broadly known as the Accord.
The unions promised to moderate their demands for higher wages in return for a rise in the so-called "social wage" — better pensions, unemployment benefits and health services.
And so it was that under the prime ministership of a formerly combative union boss, the number of industrial disputes dropped.
Hawke had inherited high unemployment and inflation from the Fraser government. In response, he and Keating unleashed an array of bold changes to the Australian economy.
They deregulated the financial industry, scrapped direct controls on interest rates, dismantled tariffs and, most significantly, floated the Australian dollar on global markets — an idea for which both men would later claim credit.
There were other policy triumphs as well.
Hawke's government passed the Sex Discrimination Act in 1984, which outlawed gender discrimination in the workplace.
It reintroduced the Whitlam government's Medibank policy, rebranding it Medicare and implementing still used today.
Hawke defended the environment by stopping construction of the Franklin Dam in Tasmania.
And he pushed towards reconciliation with indigenous Australians, replacing the Department of Aboriginal Affairs with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.
But Hawke's remarkable popularity, which peaked at an approval rating of 75 per cent, could not last forever.
By mid-1990, Australia was enduring its worst recession since the Great Depression — the one Keating infamously called "the recession Australia had to have".
As unemployment surged towards 10 per cent, Hawke's popularity plummeted and his relationship with Keating turned bitter. The treasurer started plotting to seize the leadership, and openly challenged Hawke in June of 1991.
Keating's first attempt failed. His second challenge, just a few months later, did not.
Hawke briefly moved to the backbench, then announced his retirement from politics.
In 1995, he divorced his first wife, Hazel. Soon afterwards he married his biographer, Blanche d'Alpuget, with whom he'd conducted an on-again, off-again affair over more than 20 years.
In an interview with the ABC last year, d'Alpuget revealed she had discussed death with her husband at some length.
"We've talked about it quite a lot. We've talked about his funeral and what he'd like. I've bought the graves and I'm going ahead and planning that," she said.
"He has no fear of death."