Sydney businessman, philanthropist and racing industry stalwart Bob Ingham has died at the age of 88.
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce our beloved father, Bob Ingham, passed away yesterday at home aged 88 surrounded by his family," a family statement said on Wednesday.
Bob Ingham, along with his brother Jack, built the Ingham's company into the largest producer of chickens and turkeys in Australia.
He also co-founded Bloodstock - a leading horse racing and breeding company.
"Bob always had a passion for horse racing. Along with Jack they turned this passion into the largest thoroughbred racing and breeding operation in Australia at the time," the family said.
"He was a pioneer and visionary of his day whose work and legacy will live on for many years.
"His hard work, commitment and philosophy of 'doing the right things and doing things right' underpinned everything he did. He made us very proud. We will miss him greatly."
Bob Ingham sold the Ingham Bloodstock operation in March 2008 to the Australian arm of the global Darley Stud, owned by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
At half a billion dollars, the sale was at the time the biggest deal recorded in the history of thoroughbred racing and breeding.
Racing NSW's CEO Peter V'landys said he was saddened by the loss of such a well-respected man in both racing and business who was also well known for his philanthropy.
"Bob was a very kind man who had presence and a great personality; the industry is so much the poorer for the loss of one of our legends," he said in a statement.
Ingham's, which is headquartered in the southwestern Sydney suburb of Casula, was sold to private equity firm TPG for $880 million in 2013.
"Bob, along with his brother Jack, made a significant contribution over the past 60-plus years not just to the needs of Liverpool's local population but also the greater southwest Sydney community and ultimately, through one of Australia's home-grown business success of Inghams Enterprises, the wider Australian population," the family said.
Mr Ingham's philanthropic vision for an independent specialist centre for health and medical research in Liverpool was realised in 2012, when the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research was opened.
Mr Ingham's wife Norma died 10 years ago and he is survived by children Lyn, Debbie, Robby, and John, as well as 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The family says due to COVID-19, the funeral service will be by invitation only.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked people to make a donation to the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research.
Australian Associated Press