Former NSW premier Neville Wran dies, aged 87: photos

Former NSW premier Neville Wran.
Former NSW premier Neville Wran.

Long-time NSW premier Neville Wran has died after a long illness, aged 87.

Setting off the first charges to start work on the Maldon Dombarton rail link on December 7, 1983.

Setting off the first charges to start work on the Maldon Dombarton rail link on December 7, 1983.

Sharing a laugh with union chiefs Nando Lelli and Merv Nixon at the Port Kembla Grain Terminal opening on August 29, 1985.

Sharing a laugh with union chiefs Nando Lelli and Merv Nixon at the Port Kembla Grain Terminal opening on August 29, 1985.

With Bob Carr and David Campbell at the opening of the Gujarat NRE coalmine in Russell Vale on September 23, 2005.

With Bob Carr and David Campbell at the opening of the Gujarat NRE coalmine in Russell Vale on September 23, 2005.

His wife Jill Hickson said that Mr Wran died just before 6pm on Sunday evening.

With Gujarat NRE executive chairman Arun Jagatramka to unveil a plaque at the launch of $90 million longwall mining equipment in October 2011.

With Gujarat NRE executive chairman Arun Jagatramka to unveil a plaque at the launch of $90 million longwall mining equipment in October 2011.

Ms Hickson was with him and all his family close by.

Mr Wran has been suffering from dementia and has been under special care for the past two years.

Read Malcolm Turnbull's tribute to Neville Wran

''This is of course a very sad time for us all, but in fact a blessed release for Neville," Ms Hickson said.

Neville Wran speaks at the University of Wollongong.

Neville Wran speaks at the University of Wollongong.

"Dementia is a cruel fate and I have been grieving the loss that comes with it for some years. But I hope now, especially this political climate, people will join me in celebrating the life of a great man, a true political hero."

With wife Jill at the Neville Wran tribute dinner.

With wife Jill at the Neville Wran tribute dinner.

Neville Wran, Bill Hayden and Bob Hawke.

Neville Wran, Bill Hayden and Bob Hawke.

She paid special tribute the nursing staff of Lulworth House who had been caring for the former premier.

The NSW Labor opposition leader in the tally room during the state election on May 1, 1976. Mr Wran narrowly defeated Premier Sir Eric Willis.

The NSW Labor opposition leader in the tally room during the state election on May 1, 1976. Mr Wran narrowly defeated Premier Sir Eric Willis.

Neville Wran on the day he resigned the premiership, with his wife, Jill Hickson.

Neville Wran on the day he resigned the premiership, with his wife, Jill Hickson.

Taking the floor with Princess Diana in 1996.

Taking the floor with Princess Diana in 1996.

Dancing with Princess Mary of Denmark at the Victor Chang Ball in Sydney.

Dancing with Princess Mary of Denmark at the Victor Chang Ball in Sydney.

Margaret Thatcher visits the premier at his Sydney offices in 1976.

Margaret Thatcher visits the premier at his Sydney offices in 1976.

Speaking with Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a Labor conference in 2011.

Speaking with Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a Labor conference in 2011.

Former Labor NSW premiers, from left, Neville Wran, Barry Unsworth, Nathan Rees, Bob Carr and then premier Kristina Keneally in 2010.

Former Labor NSW premiers, from left, Neville Wran, Barry Unsworth, Nathan Rees, Bob Carr and then premier Kristina Keneally in 2010.

Neville Wran, with Kim Beazley and Bob Hawke in the background.

Neville Wran, with Kim Beazley and Bob Hawke in the background.

At Darling Harbour in Sydney

At Darling Harbour in Sydney

Looking over the construction of the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

Looking over the construction of the Sydney Entertainment Centre.

With state minister for transport Peter Cox on one of the new Mercedes buses ordered for NSW.

With state minister for transport Peter Cox on one of the new Mercedes buses ordered for NSW.

"They really are angels," she said.

Mr Wran led the Labor government in NSW from May 1976 to July 1986.

He was a successful lawyer before entering parliament in the Legislative Council in 1970. He moved to the lower house in 1973 and becoming Labor leader.

In 1976, he led Labor to government in a tight election, forming government after a 10-day wait, with the support of an independent.

On July 4, 1986, Mr Wran announced his resignation to a shocked Labor conference.

Only fellow Labor premier Bob Carr was to surpass his record for the longest continuous service as NSW premier.

Mr Wran and his government were involved in damaging scandals.

In 1983, he stepped aside while a royal commission examined allegations he'd tried to influence a magistrate over a misappropriation hearing against rugby league boss Kevin Humphreys. He was cleared.

Prisons Minister Rex Jackson was jailed for selling early releases and Chief Magistrate Murray Farquhar was jailed for perverting the course of justice. Senior police were caught up in corruption scandals.

Mr Wran himself was fined $25,000 for contempt of court after declaring his belief in the innocence of his old friend Lionel Murphy, the High Court judge facing a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

After politics, Mr Wran had success in the business world, including running a merchant bank with Malcolm Turnbull, now Communications Minister in Tony Abbott's cabinet.

Mr Wran was married twice. First to Marcia Oliver, whose son he adopted before they had two more children, and then to Ms Hickson, with whom he had two children. AAP

Neville Wran 1926-2014.

Neville Wran 1926-2014.