* Born in Hurstville, then a commuter town south of Sydney on April 2 1926.
* Left school at 15 to join an engineering works then worked in a garage before he joined the Royal Australian Air Force aged 18 hoping to train as a pilot.
* Worked as an aircraft mechanic instead and after the end of World War II set up his own engineering business.
* Began racing in midget cars on dirt oval tracks after introduced to the sport by a friend he had built a car for.
* Won four successive Australian midget titles before he moved to Britain where he linked with automotive manufacturers John and Charles Cooper.
* Made his F1 debut in 1955 at the British Grand Prix.
* Convinced the Coopers to shift the engine to the rear of the car, winning his first Grand Prix race at Monaco in 1959.
* Also won the British Grand Prix and finished on the podium three more times to give him his first world title in 1959.
* Sealed the title when he pushed his car over the line at the 1959 U.S. Grand Prix after it ran out of fuel. The fourth placed finish made him the first Australian to claim the driver's championship.
* Won five successive Grands Prix in 1960 to defend his championship.
* An unproductive 1961 season - he retired from six races - saw him leave the Cooper team and set up his own company Motor Racing Developments with fellow Australian Ron Tauranac.
* New rules allowing for a bigger engine played into their hands in 1966 with the then-40-year-old winning four races and becoming the first, and only, driver to win the title in a car of his own design.
* Was runner up in 1967 with two victories before the car suffered reliability problems in the next two seasons.
* Won the South African race in 1970 then retired at the end of the season having started 126 Grands Prix, amassing 14 wins, 31 podiums, 13 pole positions, and 12 fastest laps.
* Returned to Australia at the end of his racing career and set up several businesses including a farm, various garages and an aviation company.
* Sold the Brabham team to now F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone upon his retirement.
* Became the first driver to be knighted for services to motorsport in 1979.
* Continued to appear at race meetings around the world where he drove his former Cooper and Brabham cars until the first decade of the 2000s when he was affected by ill health.
* Received the Order of Australia in 2008.
* Died on May 19, 2014, aged 88 at his home on Australia's Gold Coast. He is survived by his three sons, Geoff, Gary, and David, who all forged their own motorsport careers.
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