Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott with his father, Richard, at Kirribilli House on Father's Day 2015. Picture: Kristi Miller
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott with his father, Richard, at Kirribilli House on Father's Day 2015. Picture: Kristi Miller

‘God bless you Dad’: Tony Abbott’s father dies at 93

FORMER Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's father Richard has died.

The Federal Member for Warringah made the sad announcement this morning via Twitter, tweeting: "The Abbott family has lost a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. God bless you Dad".

The elder Abbott, aged 93, suffered a stroke on Monday and died in the Sydney Adventist Hospital in Wahroonga.

Mr Abbott has previously spoken of his beloved dad's influence on his life, including imparting the advice to be a "good man than a successful one".

"This year my dad turned 91, and with each passing year I better appreciate what he has done for me,'' Mr Abbott told The Sunday Telegraph on Father's Day in 2015.

"As a boy, from the age of eight to twelve, every weekday, I walked the couple of kilometres from home to the railway station with my dad before the train ride to school.

"The haze of time has obscured most of our conversation, but I do clearly recall Dad's insistence that it was better to be a good person than a successful one."

Mr Abbott gives his dad a hug on the campaign trail in 2013. Mr Abbott senior’s wife, Fay, looks on.
Mr Abbott gives his dad a hug on the campaign trail in 2013. Mr Abbott senior’s wife, Fay, looks on.

Richard "Dick" Henry Abbott was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in 1924 - requiring his eldest son to formally renounce his British citizenship in 1993, prior to running for Liberal preselection - and raised in a nearby village.

 

Richard Abbott meets former Prime Minister John Howard.
Richard Abbott meets former Prime Minister John Howard.

Dick served in the RAAF during WWII and later became an orthodontist, marrying Fay.

One of his best known stories about the future PM was the day his 12-year-old son came home from St Ignatius' College, Riverview, in tears claiming he didn't have any friends.

Mr Abbott told his that to have friends you needed to "be a friend'', advice the Prime Minister says helped him in life and his political career.

Mr Abbott with his granddaughter Frances.
Mr Abbott with his granddaughter Frances.


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