Former Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam died, aged 98, in the early hours of Tuesday morning at a Sydney nursing home.

Gough Whitlam died peacefully after “an innings worthy of Bradman”, his son-in-law Kim Williams says.

The Labor icon passed away on Tuesday morning at his Elizabeth Bay nursing home in Sydney.

He was 98.

Mr Williams, a former News Corp Australia chief executive and the husband of Mr Whitlam’s daughter, Catherine Dovey, said the family was very sad although it was “a release” for the former prime minister.

“He had been through a lot of trials in recent months,” Mr Williams told AAP.

“He died peacefully early this morning.”

Mr Williams says despite Mr Whitlam’s declining health he never once complained.

“He was a wonderfully resilient and quite beautiful human being,” he said.

“It’s an innings worthy of Bradman.”

Ms Dovey was with Mr Whitlam on Monday.

Mr Whitlam is also survived by his three sons Tony, Nicholas and Stephen.

“A loving and generous father, he was a source of inspiration to us and our families and for millions of Australians,” his children said in a statement.

There will be a private cremation and a public memorial service at a date to be decided.