Veteran ABC broadcaster Mark Colvin dies aged 65

ABC current affairs journalist and presenter Mark Colvin has died, aged 65.

The ABC has confirmed Colvin died after a 20-year battle with a rare auto-immune disease.

The former foreign correspondent and popular broadcaster was one of the ABC’s most respected journalists.

"Today we lost our beloved Mark," his family said in a statement read on ABC television on Thursday.

Mark Colvin, left, speaks with Peter Greste at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in 2015. Photo: AAP

They thanked his medical staff at Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital and friends and colleagues who stood by him.

"At this moment of grief, we request the family be left to mourn in private," they said.

ABC News head Gavin Morris said Mr Colvin was one of Australia's finest journalists.

"For so many Australians, hearing his measured, authoritative voice on our airwaves each evening was a great pleasure and inspired confidence and trust," Mr Morris said.

In 2012, Mr Colvin received a transplanted kidney and the operation was filmed.

It was later revealed the donor was model Elle Macpherson's former assistant Mary-Ellen Field.

The transplant story was later made into the stage play Mark Colvin's Kidney.

Mr Colvin leaves behind wife Michele McKenzie and two sons, Nicolas and William.

“He also took to the digital world with great enthusiasm as a prolific contributor to the Twittersphere under the handle @Colvinius,” the ABC wrote in announcing his death.

“One of Australian journalism's most authoritative voices, and a master interviewer with a depth of knowledge in world affairs, Colvin held a number of overseas postings with the ABC, working as a correspondent in Europe and Africa.”

The Sydney-based media veteran contracted the rare illness of the bloodstream, Wegener's granulomatosis, in 1994 while he was covering the Rwandan genocide, ABC said.

Mr Colvin presented the ABC Radio program PM for 20 years.