Former Australian PM Bob Hawke dies at 89

Canberra: Bob Hawke, one of Australia’s longest-serving Prime Ministers and a former Labour Party leader, died on Thursday at the age of 89.

“Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian – many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era,” Hawke’s wife Blanche D’Alpuget said in a statement cited by Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

“Bob was dearly loved by his family and so many friends and colleagues. We will miss him,” she said.

Hawke was in office from 1983 to 1991, winning three elections and becoming the country’s third longest-serving Prime Minister.

His achievements as Prime Minister included modernizing the economy and integrating it into the global community, establishing Medicare and championing environmental issues.

Hawke is survived by his wife D’Alpuget and his three children – Susan, Stephen and Rosslyn.