Kerry Packer dies
Media baron Kerry Packer has died, Channel Nine announced this morning.
Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer Packer, 68, Australia's richest man, was chairman of media company Publishing and Broadcasting Limited, owner of Channel Nine.
Richard Wilkins announced Mr Packer's death this morning on the Today
He read a statement from Nine head of news Tony Ritchie: "Mrs Kerry [Roslyn] Packer and her children James and Gretel sadly report the passing last evening of her husband and their father Kerry.
"He died peacefully at home with his family at his bedside.
"He will be lovingly remembered and missed enormously. Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced.''
Friends and family have begun arriving at the Mr Packer's Sydney home.
A Black Mercedes with tinted windows arrived at the family's property in Bellevue Hill, in Sydney's east.
The car, with an unknown passenger, passed through large black gates and into the property without stopping for the large media contingent outside.
Two police officers later walked through the gates after parking their car in the street outside.
A white van, with a young male driver, was also admitted to the property shortly after 11am.
A Channel Nine spokeswoman said the network was planning a "fitting'' on-air tribute to its late owner, but could not say when it would be broadcast.
Mr Packer's much-publicised battle with ill-health began in 1990, when he suffered a massive heart attack while playing polo.
He also underwent heart bypass surgery in New York in 1998.
Mr Packer received a life-saving kidney transplant from his helicopter pilot, Nicholas Ross, in 2000, an event documented on the ABC's Australian Story
Since recovering from the operation, Mr Packer launched an organ transplant association in memory of cricketer David Hookes.
Mr Packer controlled an empire which ranged from magazines and television networks to petrochemicals, heavy engineering, ski resorts, rural properties, diamond exploration, coalmines, supermarket coupons and casinos.
A renowned gambler, he seized control of Melbourne's Crown Casino when PBL launched a takeover bid in December 1998.
Mr Packer headed BRW
magazine's list of Australia's most prodigious moneymakers with a personal wealth of $6.9 billion.
He once netted more than $700 million by selling Channel Nine to Alan Bond, then buying it back from him three years later.
He turned the cricket world upside down with his World Series revolution in 1977, which ended with him getting what he wanted in the first place - the rights to televise top matches.