Australian billionaire Lang Walker AO – who built large parts of modern-day Australia – has died aged 78.
The well-known property developer and philanthropist is believed to have spent his final days surrounded by family at his Woolloomooloo home on Sydney Harbour.
In a statement, Mr Walker’s family said their hearts were ‘broken’ by the loss of a ‘great man who changed the lives of so many people through his visionary projects and philanthropy’.
“Lang loved creating incredible places for people to live and work, but he loved his family more than anything else in the world and his generosity and affection knew no bounds,” they said.
‘His zest for life and his relentless pursuit of perfection lives on in everyone in the Walker family.
‘We request privacy during this difficult time and thank everyone for all the messages of condolence.’
He died overnight with his wife, Sue, and three grown children – Blake, Chad and Georgia – by his side.
Australian billionaire property developer Lang Walker AO (pictured) died overnight at the age of 78
Mr Walker, who founded Walker Corp with his father Alec in 1964, had 10 grandchildren.
It is understood that the 78-year-old’s health had been declining for some time, as he had been in hospital several times over the Christmas holidays.
In 2015, Mr Walker was awarded the Order of Australia, earning him the AO after his name, for his philanthropic efforts and service to the community.
He was a long-time supporter of the St Vincents Curran Foundation and gave to various medical and cancer research groups.
Mr Walker was also a donor to the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation in Brisbane, the Young Endeavor Youth Scheme and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The businessman also provided support to Aussie sailors helping the Australian Olympic sailing team, the Youth Sailing Academy and the Cruising Yacht Club, Sydney.
However, Mr Walker was best known as the visionary behind some of Australia’s most successful property developments, including the King St Wharf complex and Broadway shopping centre.
More recently, he helped develop Riverlea in Adelaide – the state’s largest $3 billion master-planned community.
Walker Co originally specialized in earthmoving, excavation and quarrying before moving into residential property.
It later branched out into the development of apartments, industrial parks and commercial centres.
A spokesman for the Walker Corporation confirmed both his family and company would release statements Sunday afternoon.
Mr Walker’s wealth was estimated at more than $5 billion last year, according to the Australian Financial Review’s rich list.