Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke dies aged 89

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke has died aged 89.

His wife Blanche d'Alpuget released a statement on Thursday night confirming she will hold a private funeral with his children Sue, Stephen, Rosslyn and stepson, Louis, and his grandchildren in Sydney in coming weeks.

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke has died aged 89. Source: AAP

"Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian - many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era," she said.

“Bob was dearly loved by his family, and so many friends and colleagues.

“We will miss him.”

Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke (left) during day two of the Ashes Test match at Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2018. Source: AAP

Mr Hawke entered federal parliament in 1980 and went straight to opposition leader Bill Hayden's front bench.

Within three years he was party leader and weeks later became prime minister with a sweeping victory over Malcolm Fraser.

The next year he beat Andrew Peacock and in 1987 he beat John Howard despite losing the primary vote. He narrowly won his fourth election in 1990.

He was awarded life membership in the Labor party in 2009.

Mr Hawke and wife Blanche d'Dalpuget in February 2015 and the former PM at the launch of Hawke's Brewing Co in Sydney in 2017. Source: AAP

‘Our greatest son’

Opposition leader Bill Shorten paid tribute to Mr Hawke, saying 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," he said in a statement.

Federal Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten speaks with former prime minister Bob Hawke at a function after Hawke received an honorary degree from the University of Sydney in December 2016. Source: AAP

"The Australian people loved Bob Hawke because they knew Bob loved them, this was true to the very end.

"He was a leader of conviction - and a builder of consensus. But for Bob, consensus and co-operation never meant pursuing the lowest common denominator."

With AAP

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, download the Yahoo News app from iTunes or Google Play and stay up to date with the latest news with Yahoo’s daily newsletter. Sign up here.