Tributes flow after Neville Wran dies at age 87

FORMER NSW premier Neville Wran has died at age 87.

Tributes for the ALP political giant are flowing from both sides of politics

Mr Wran was the long-serving NSW premier leading the Labor government from May 1976 to July 1986. He died  last night in a nursing home in Elizabeth Bay. His wife Jill Hickson was with him, with the rest of his family were nearby.

Mr Wran suffered from dementia.

Former NSW premier Barry O'Farrell tweeted his sadness at Mr Wrann's passing: "Sad news. Neville Wran helped build NSW incl initiating our sister-state relationship with China's Guangdong province in 1979," he wrote.

Liberals Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, has paid tribute to Mr Wrann on his blog.

"Lucy and I were very sad tonight to learn that our dear old friend Neville Wran has died. He was 87. We send our love and condolences to his family especially Jill, his wife, and his children Kim, Glenn, Harriet and Hugo," Mr Turnbull wrote.

"I first came to know Neville well in 1976 when I was a political reporter at the State Parliament and he was just about to be elected Premier of NSW. He was a formidable politician - eloquent, brilliant, always active. He was not one of those politicians solely and cynically focussed on being re-elected, devoted to spin. He was a true believer, a doer, a reformer and a builder. He was also a tough partisan player, a ferocious political opponent unforgiving in his attacks on the Liberal Opposition and equally formidable as he defended himself from the slings and arrows that came his way.

"In 1986, after he retired as Premier, we went into business together.

"Neville was a wonderful business partner, friend and mentor. He had the capacity to be the sage older man - he was 60 and I was 32 -  but at the same time he was young at heart, innovative and mischievous. He was always the best company, erudite, wickedly funny, but never, ever self important.

"We had a lot of adventures whether it was starting Ozemail and other technology companies, cleaning up the mess left by WA Inc, sorting out Fairfax, Ten, Bond Media and other media deals in Australia or negotiating with Russian officials about gold in Siberia or Chinese officials about a zinc mine in Hebei Province. We had ten years together in our own firm and then after 1997 Neville and I continued to work together for a few years at Goldman Sachs."

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