Alan Bond, the high flying businessman who dominated Australian headlines in the 1980s and won the America’s Cup, has died aged 77.
The tycoon suffered complications from triple bypass surgery on Tuesday and did not regain consciousness in the days following at Perth’s Fiona Stanley Hospital.
His family said outside the hospital: “Dad passed away this morning about an hour ago. His body finally gave out after heroic efforts of everyone involved here at the Intensive Care Unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital.
He never regained consciousness after his surgery on Tuesday. And has been on life support since that time.”
His death follows complications from open heart surgery he underwent on Tuesday at the Fiona Stanley Hospital to replace a heart valve. He never regained consciousness after being placed in an induced coma.
Bond’s family said he was many things to many people. “He really did experience the highs and lows of life. To us, however, he was just dad, a father who tried his best to be the best dad he could,” his son said.
He said Bond’s relationship with his ex-wife Eileen remained strong despite their split.
“Mum and Dad were always soul mates who never broke their connection, even though he could be very infuriating to her. She was very sad she did not get back to see him one last time, though they did recently catch up and have a meal together in London.”
The family also spoke of his love for his second wife, theatre producer Diana Bliss, who died in 2012.
He also loved Diana very much and missed her greatly in these past few years. We’ll all miss him very much – he’s had a great influence on many people and we’re heartfelt in our thanks for all the kind messages of support we’ve received.”
Bond is famous for backing Australia’s well-known 1983 America’s Cup win, ending United States’ 132-year hold on the trophy, the longest winning run in world sport.
Bond, who was once one of Australia’s most prominent businessmen, was born in London and emigrated to Australia aged 12.
He made his fortune in property investment and Australia’s first private university – Bond University – carries his name.
At the pinnacle of his wealth In 1987, he paid media tycoon Kerry Packer A$1 billion for Channel Nine and purchased Vincent van Gogh’s classic painting, Irises, for A$54 million.
The first inklings of Bond’s underhanded dealings began in 1991 when he was convicted and later acquitted for theft.
It would be a brief reprieve, with Bond jailed in 1996 for four years for stealing $1 billion from Bell Resources to prop up his failing business empire, Bond Corporation.
Bond married his first wife Eileen Hughes in 1955, and the couple had four children – John, Craig, Susanne and Jody.
Bond’s eldest daughter, Susanne, aged 41, was found dead in her home in the upmarket Perth suburb of Peppermint Grove in 2000 from an accidental prescription drug overdose.
Just over a decade later, in 2012, his second wife Diana Bliss, who suffered a depressive illness, was found dead in the swimming pool of the couple’s Perth home.
Bond married Ms Bliss in 1995. She was a a public relations consultant and theatre producer.
Bond leaves behind his three children and eight grandchildren.