Australia reacts to Bob Hawke's death

FORMER prime minister Bob Hawke has died at the age of 89.

The Labor legend died in his Sydney home today just two days before the May 18 federal election.

Political pundits and voters with fond memories from across the country poured out their grief at his loss after a statement confirmed the 89-year-old had passed away in his sleep. 

Many fondly recalled his infamous beer-skolling video taken at the cricket long after he had finished in office. 

Current Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Hawke was a great intellectual who had served the country with passion.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd named Hawke as a giant of Australian politics.

"He and Paul Keating internationalised the Australian economy. He established APEC and radically deepened Australia's engagement with Asia. He established Medicare. Together with Therese and the entire nation, I mourn his passing," Mr Rudd tweeted.

Others tweeted photos of their Medicare cards, a policy championed by Mr Hawke.

Tributes are flowing for former prime minister Bob Hawke.
Tributes are flowing for former prime minister Bob Hawke.

EARLIER: Former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke has died peacefully in his sleep this evening, with wife Blanche d'Alpuget at his side. He was 89.

Ms d'Alpuget has release a statement.

"He died peacefully at home at the age of 89 years. I and Bob's children, Sue, Stephen, Rosslyn and stepson, Louis, and his grandchildren, will hold a private funeral.

"A memorial service will be held in Sydney in coming weeks."