Media baron Ramoji Rao, founder of Ramoji Film City, passes away at 87

Ramoji Rao dies

Ramoji Rao, chairman of Eenadu Group and founder of Ramoji Film City in a file photo. (Twitter)

Ramoji Rao, the renowned chairman of Eenadu media group and founder of Ramoji Film City, passed away early this morning while undergoing treatment at Star Hospital in Hyderabad.

He took his last breath at 3:45 am on Saturday. He was admitted to the hospital on June 5 after facing difficulty in breathing, the Eenadu Group said.

As the news of his demise surfaced, tributes poured in on social media platforms from everywhere. Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi praised Ramoji Rao as a visionary who revolutionised Indian media.

“His rich contributions have left an indelible mark on journalism and the world of films. Through his noteworthy efforts, he set new standards for innovation and excellence in the media and entertainment world. Ramoji Rao Garu was extremely passionate about India’s development. I am fortunate to have got several opportunities to interact with him and benefit from his wisdom. Condolences to his family, friends and countless admirers during this difficult time. Om Shanti,” Modi said in a post on ‘X’, formerly Twitter.

“He was a pinnacle in the field of media and we are unable to digest the fact that he is no more,” Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Chandrababu Naidu said, remembering his four-decade-old association with Rao. Ramoji Rao is widely credited with helping Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party to come into power in the then undivided Andhra Pradesh during the 1980s.

When Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, popularly known as NTR, founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in opposition to Congress in 1982, Ramoji Rao’s Eenadu newspaper played a key role in turning public opinion in his favour.

It is also known that when Naidu revolted against his father-in-law NTR in 1995, Rao lent support to Naidu, marking a significant political upheaval in Andhra politics at that time.

Under Ramoji’s leadership, Eenadu became a major force in Telugu media. Apart from the world-renowned Ramoji Film City, Rao’s vast empire of media business also includes Telugu daily Eenadu newspaper, ETV network of channels and film production among others.

In 2016, he received the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in India, from then-President Pranab Mukherjee.

First Published: Jun 08 2024 | 9:34 AM IST

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