Former Labor Party leader and Governor-General Bill Hayden has died, aged 90.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the news via social media on Saturday afternoon.

“Bill Hayden was a humble man but there was nothing modest about his ambition for Labor or Australia,” Mr Albanese said.

“He brought a quiet strength to the cause of progress and through his lifetime of service, he changed our party and our country for the better.

“May he rest in peace.”

Mr Hayden served as a minister in both the Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke governments.

He served as Leader of the Opposition from 1977 to 1983, before being succeeded by Bob Hawke, who led the ALP to victory at the 1983 election.

During the Hawke government, he served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

He was also previously Treasurer during the Whitlam government for a brief five-month period in 1975.

He also served as Whitlam’s Minister for Social Security.

He was born in Brisbane in 1933 and joined the Queensland Police Force in 1953, during which time he joined the ALP.

In 1961, he was elected as the Member for Oxley, which he held until 1988.

He served as Leader of the Opposition, following the 1977 election loss and Whitlam’s retirement.

Following the 1987 election, he took up the post of Governor-General and held the role until 1996.

Mr Albanese said a state funeral would be held to honour Mr Hayden.

The Prime Minister describe him as being instrumental in the introduction of Medicare and an important figure in ALP and Australian history.

“My first thoughts are with Dallas, his beloved wife of 63 years, their children and all those who knew and loved him best,” Mr Albanese said.

“If Bill Hayden left no other legacy than as a key architect of universal healthcare, he would still stand for all time as a legend of our labour movement and a great contributor to our nation.

“Of course, in his lifetime of service, Bill gave so much more to the country he loved. Indeed in every role he held: Governor-General, Minister for Social Security, Treasurer, Foreign Minister and Labor Leader, Bill Hayden gave his utmost.”

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