Former Hawke cabinet minister Kim Beazley has remembered Bob Hawke as a great prime minister who deeply loved his fellow Australians, and says he wept when he heard the 89-year-old had died.
Now governor of Western Australia, Mr Beazley says he had a sad but reflective night after learning Mr Hawke died in Sydney on Thursday.
"I wept because he was so close a friend and such a great man," he told 6PR radio on Friday.
"In many ways ... he constructed modern Australia."
Mr Beazley said Mr Hawke let his ministers do their job without interference and would only step in if asked or if there was a dispute over an issue that crossed portfolios.
"He's unusual among political leaders in that he understood that he didn't need to be the focus: he needed to be the leader of a great government.
"That sort of media control which now tends to pervade, he never ran that."
Mr Hawke had a substantial ego and self-confidence but was not a narcissist, Mr Beazley said.
"The people that really mattered were the people he was dealing with and the people for whom he had the deepest love were the Australian people."