Kerry Packer died at his family home on the night of the 26th of December, 2005. He was 68. As far as can be determined, it was peaceful. The Boxing Day Test Match observed a minute's silence out of respect before it began its second day. Both the Australian and South African teams stood at the MCG to mark his passing. Although he had a reputation for 'straight-talking', which was also referred to as 'rudeness' or 'bluntness', the amount of respect he had in the business community is quite surprising. Judging by the stories emerging after his death, he definitely deserved all the respect he got.
According to the stories coming out after his death, he was a complex person. Apparently determined and driven, one oft-repeated phrase was "he loved to win", as if this encapsulates some important aspect of his person. He was apparently a very generous person, but the extent of this generosity is unlikely to be known, as he kept these things quiet.
Medically speaking, he has not been well for a long time. He had polio at about 6, and also apparently had dyslexia. Perhaps this was a contributing factor to his determination to succeed. He received a kidney transplant from his helicopter pilot in 2000, and had a heart attack in 1990. His health was reported to have declined significantly in 1998, when he made running the PBL group his son's responsibility.
And what of his son James? Well, many newspaper articles are saying that he will do quite well as the new leader. Not new new, he's officially been the leader since 1998, but Kerry was a larger than life person, by many accounts. So it'll be interesting to see how he goes now.
And this is the famous quote.
KERRY PACKER: You want the good news or the bad news?
RAY MARTIN: Give us the good news.
KERRY PACKER: The good news is there is no devil. The bad news is there no heaven.
RAY MARTIN: Is that right?
KERRY PACKER: Yeah, there's nothing.