17 Mar 2012

Former first lady of Australia Margaret Whitlam dies

8:03 pm on 17 March 2012

Margaret Whitlam, one of Australia's most influential of prime minister's wives, has died at the age of 92.

The former prime minister Gough Whitlam says his wife of almost 70 years was a remarkable person and the love of his life.

The ABC reports that Mrs Whitlam had been a champion swimmer, representing Australia in the 1938 Empire Games.

After completing a degree in social studies in 1938, she practised as a social worker, but was also heavily involved in Mr Whitlam's political career, and in the Labor Party Women's Conference.

Mrs Whitlam had reportedly been in hospital after a fall in Sydney last month.