By Daniel Hunter

Controversial Australian entrepreneur Alan Bond has died at the age of 77, his family has announced.

He died in hospital in Perth, days after heart surgery.

Born in the UK, Alan Bond became one of Australia's richest men. He shot to fame when his huge investment helped Australia to their shock win in the America's Cup yacht race in 1983.

But he, and the win, descended into controversy when he was found guilty of the biggest corporate fraud Australia had ever seen to that point.

Speaking outside the hospital, his children John and Jody said he had been in a coma since the operation three days ago.

John Bond said his body "finally gave out after heroic efforts of everyone involved here at the intensive care unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital".

Describing him as a "larger-than-life character", John said "he really did experience the highs and lows of life... to us, however, he was just Dad - a father who tried his best to be the best dad he could".