Former National Party leader Tim Fischer has sadly passed away aged 73.
The former deputy PM in the Howard government led the party between 1990 and 1999, and battled cancer for more than a decade.
Announced on Thursday, August 22, it was revealed the politician had died is a southern NSW hospital surrounded by his close family members.
According to News.com.au, the former deputy PM had acute leukaemia and cancer, and was treated at the Albury Wodonga Cancer Centre.
Mourning his passing is wife Judy and his two sons, Dominic and Harrison.
Our thoughts are with the family at this tough time.
The politician was known for his unique sense of humour, as well as being partial to wearing the iconic Aussie Akubra hat.
He was John Howard's right hand man throughout some of his most testing times at the helm of the country, including the legislation of tough gun laws following the tragic Port Arthur massacre in 1996.
At the height of his career in 1999, Mr Fischer suddenly resigned from the frontbench and revealed he would soon retire from politics altogether.
He explained his son Harrison's autism diagnosis was one of the reasons that made him want to quit.
"Because I married later in life, happily, to Judy, I have an absolute intense feeling about doing all I can to contribute to that marriage and to Dominic and Harrison's development," he told Australian Story in 2001.
Speaking about his son's condition, Mr Fischer said: "It was shattering, it was disappointing, it was challenging. And initially I pushed back against it in a somewhat crazy way."
Before he died, Mr Fischer revealed his cancer was due to exposure to the dangerous chemical Agent Orange during his time serving in the Vietnam War in the 1960s.
"At least one specialist has suggested my immunity broke down a lot more quickly as a direct consequence," he told Australian Story, acknowleding it was a brutal price to pay for serving his country.
Agent Orange is a toxic and life-threatening substance that was used widely by the American army during the Vietnam War to remove plants and trees that their enemy troops would use for cover.
In May 2019, Tim opened a museum dedicated to his life in Lockhart, close to Wagga Wagga.
"Almost in remission, not quite. I am just uplifted by this nice gallery," Tim said at the opening.
May he rest in peace.
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