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Aussie Business Tycoon Alan Bond Has Died

The colourful tycoon, best known for bankrolling Australia's America's Cup win, dies age 77.

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Alan Bond, the colourful Western Australian businessman who bankrolled Australia's 1983 America's Cup win, has died in a Perth hospital following complications after heart surgery. He was 77.

The Bond family released a statement through his son, Jon on Friday.

"To a lot of people dad was a larger than life character ... but to us he was just dad. His body finally gave out after heroic efforts of everyone involved here at the intensive care unit at Fiona Stanley hospital," said John Bond.

"To a lot of people, Dad was a larger-than-life character who started with nothing and did so much."

Bond is known by many as the leader of the historic 1983 America's Cup win. The yacht "Australia II" did what many people said was impossible by breaking the United States' 132-year winning run.

But Bond is notorious for seriously dodgy financial dealings in the late 80s and early 90s. He was bankrupted for more than $600 million (still Australia's second biggest ever) and was sent to jail for moving $1.2 billion around his companies and into his flailing Bond Corporation.

After being released he was banned from running companies by authorities for five years. But in 2008 he was back on the BRW "Rich List" with an estimated wealth of more than $200 million.

He was named Australian of the Year in 1978, along with Galarrwuy Yunupingu and became the butt of jokes after losing so much money buying the Channel 9 TV network. He bought the network for more than a billion dollars and when he went bankrupt fellow businessman Kerry Packer bought the company back off him at a serious discount.

Packer once said, "You only get one Alan Bond in your lifetime, and I've had mine".