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Media Baron Cherukuri Ramoji Rao Passes Away at 87

Hyderabad: Cherukuri Ramoji Rao, a towering figure in Indian media and the chairman of Ramoji Group, passed away in the early hours of Saturday after a prolonged illness. He was 87 years old.

Rao, a Padma Vibhushan awardee, had been grappling with chronic illness and age-related health complications for an extended period. His condition worsened earlier this week, leading to his admission to Star Hospitals in Nanakramguda, Hyderabad, on June 5 due to respiratory issues and high blood pressure. Despite being treated with ventilator support, he succumbed to his ailments at approximately 4:50 am. His body is being transported to his residence in Ramoji Film City on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Born on November 16, 1936, Ramoji Rao built a monumental business empire that included Margadarsi Chit Funds, the Eenadu Telugu daily, the ETV network of television channels, the film production company Usha Kiran Movies, and the world-renowned Ramoji Film City (RFC), the largest film production facility globally.

He is survived by his wife, Rama Devi, and his son, Ch Kiran, who currently heads the Eenadu group of publications and ETV channels. His younger son, Cherukuri Suman, passed away from leukemia on September 7, 2012.

Ramoji Rao’s business ventures spanned various industries, including the Dolphin group of hotels, Kalanjali Saree Showrooms, Priya Foods, and Mayuri Film Distributors. Under the Usha Kiran Movies banner, his films received numerous state and national awards, solidifying his legacy in the Indian film industry.

In recognition of his immense contributions to journalism, literature, and education, Ramoji Rao was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award, in 2016.

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