Balasaheb Keshav Thackeray, founder and chief of the Shiv Sena party, died of cardiac arrest on Saturday evening. Thackeray breathed his last at around 3.30 pm at his Mumbai residence "Matoshree".
Born to Keshav Sitaram in Pune, Thackeray started his professional career as a cartoonist with the English-language daily newspaper "The Free Press Journal" in Mumbai, but left it in 1960.
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He then formed his own political cartoon weekly "Marmik" through which he campaigned against the influence of Gujaratis, Marwaris, and south Indians in Mumbai. In 1966, Thackeray formed Shiv Sena to strongly support the position of Maharashtrians in Mumbai.
He later launched Sena's Marathi newspaper 'Saamana' in 1989. He is popularly called as the 'Hindu Hriday Samrat' (ruler of Hindu hearts).
He is survived by his two sons Jaidev and Uddhav and their families. He was married to Meena Thackeray and had three sons Bindumadhav, Jaidev and Uddhav. His wife and eldest son Bindumadhav died in 1996.
Thackeray had not been keeping well for quite a sometime and was rumoured to have died earlier this week. After his death normalcy in Mumbai came to halt with shops and commercial establishments closed. Auto rickshaws and taxis also stayed off streets, Reuters reported.
Thackeray's body has been kept for public viewing in Shivaji Park, Dadar, and his cremation will take place at 6 pm.