The Federal election has been rocked after the announcement late Thursday that former prime minister Bob Hawke has died, aged 89.
In a statement his wife Blanche d'Alpuget said he died peacefully at home on Thursday.
"Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian - many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era," she said.
"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."
Mr Hawke and Mr Keating only met recently.
Mr Hawke listened to farmers concerns early in his government when a large protest was organised in Canberra against new taxes.
He visited Gurley near Moree to hear farmers' concerns at first hand in the mid 1980s.
Mr Hawke defeated Malcolm Fraser to become prime minister in 1983, staying until 1991. He swept to power on the back of a bad drought in 1983.
Only on Wednesday he wrote a letter supporting Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to win Saturday's poll.
In a statement on Thursday night, Mr Shorten said Mr Hawke was a "leader of conviction - and a builder of consensus".
"In Australian history, in Australian politics, there will always be B.H. and A.H: Before Hawke and After Hawke. After Hawke, we were a different country. A kinder, better, bigger and bolder country," Mr Shorten said. "Bob Hawke loved Australia and Australia loved Bob Hawke."
His famous comment at his 1987 election speech was : "So we set ourselves this first goal: By 1990 no Australian child will be living in poverty."
He also famously told the nation in his jubilation that any employer who sacked a worker for not going to work after the famous America's Cup victory was a "bum".
He had the common touch, and set the Australian economy on a course for greater world competitiveness. He was a Rhodes scholar and top sportsman and loved cricket.