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Australia's richest man Kerry Packer dies

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SYDNEY (AFX) - Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd chairman Kerry Packer has died in his Sydney home, the Packer-controlled Channel Nine television station reported.

Packer, 68, who was Australia's richest man, died with his family at his bedside, a Channel Nine television announcer said, quoting from a statement by the family.

"Mrs Kerry Packer and her children James and Gretel sadly report the passing last evening of her husband and their father Kerry," the statement said.

"He died peacefully at home with his family at his bedside.

No reason was given for the death of Packer, who had a history of poor health.

He nearly died playing polo in 1990 when he suffered a severe attack during which his heart stopped beating for six or seven minutes.

Packer underwent a kidney transplant in November 2000, receiving an organ donated by his helicopter pilot, and in 2003 needed emergency surgery to clear blocked arteries.

Packer's companies include the Nine Network television station and the Australian Consolidated Press magazine publishing business but in recent years had concentrated his efforts more in the gaming industry.

Packer was also responsible for a revolution in the cricket world in the late 1970s, when he introduced World Series Cricket and popularized the one-day version of the game.

Copyright 2005 AFX News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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