Beloved author Bryce Courtenay has died at his Canberra home aged 79.
Courtenay, who was originally from South Africa and emigrated to Australia in the 1950s, died yesterday at 11pm surrounded by family.
The author had been suffering from stomach cancer and he left behind an emotional video message to fans in which he said he had a "wonderful life".
"Part of that wonderful life has been those people who have been kind enough to pick up a Bryce Courtenay book and read it and enjoy it and buy the next one and be with me in what has been for me an incredible journey," he said in the message, uploaded to YouTube earlier this month.
"And all I'd like to say is, as simply as I possibly can: thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you."
His best-known book, The Power of One, was published in 1989 and sold more than 8 million copies around the world.
November 23, 2012: There are tributes tonight for Australian author Bryce Courtenay, who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 79.
His wife Christine Courtenay thanked his fans for their support and made a request for privacy.
"We would like to thank all of Bryce's family and friends and his fans around the world for their love and support as he wrote the final chapter of his extraordinary life," Mrs Courtenay said in a statement released by Penguin Publishing.
"May we make the request for privacy as we cherish his memory."
Courtenay didn't let his fight with cancer slow him down, with his final book, Jack of Diamonds, being released this month by Penguin.