Ex-Labor premier John Cain is dead at the age of 88, after suffering a stroke earlier this month. He headed Victoria from 1982 to 1990.
Ex-Labor premier John Cain is dead at the age of 88, after suffering a stroke earlier this month. He headed Victoria from 1982 to 1990.

A former state premier and ALP leader has died

Former Victorian premier John Cain has died at the age of 88.

Mr Cain was a state Labor MP for 16 years and served as premier of Victoria from 1982 until 1990.

He suffered a stroke on December 10 and had been in hospital since.

His wife Nancye Cain announced Mr Cain's death in a statement on Monday morning.

"We are grateful John enjoyed good health and remained very active prior to his stroke," she said.

"He is much loved and admired by his family and will be greatly missed."

The couple has three children - daughter Joanne Crothers and sons John and James.

State and federal Labor MPs have paid tribute to the man who ended a 27-year run of Liberal governments in Victoria, becoming the first Labor premier since his father John (Jack) Cain.

Victorian federal MP Andrew Giles described Mr Cain as "the most decent politician imaginable".

"It was my great privilege to know him and to enjoy his friendship, encouragement and advice," Mr Giles said.

"John Cain was utterly devoted to Labor and public life, and the most decent politician imaginable."

State Labor minister Martin Foley described him as a thoroughly decent man.

"Three times election winner, he reframed Labor's mission as the reformist party for a modern Victoria," he wrote.