The recent death of John Cornell is a sad loss to the Byron Shire Community.

John 'Strop' Cornell
John ‘Strop’ Cornell

Born in Kalgoorlie in 1941, it was as a producer on A Current Affair that he met Paul Hogan. Together they wrote and produced The Paul Hogan Show and later Crocodile Dundee – the most profitable Australian film ever made.

John, with Kerry Packer, was instrumental in introducing World Series Cricket which drastically improved pay and conditions for cricketers.

After moving to Byron Bay in 1980, he bought both the Beach Hotel and Hotel Brunswick.

Known as a quiet, self-effacing man who didn’t court publicity, he quietly supported Byron Bay behind the scenes.

In a statement issued by the family, Cornell was remembered as “one of Australia’s leading lights”.

“After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2001, John concentrated his efforts on philanthropy, supporting his community and worthy environmental, sporting and medical causes,” the statement said.

“A classic Australian character, John Cornell made the lives he touched much richer, not only through donations but also through his generosity of spirit, humour, humility and honour.

“A true egalitarian, John sought equity and equality, and fought for a fair go.”

Cornell is survived by his wife of 46 years, Delvene Delaney, and three daughters, Melissa, Allira and Liana.