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South movie and media magnate Ramoji Rao is no more!

Ramoji Rao died while undergoing treatment at Star Hospital in Hyderabad, taking his last breath at 3:45 am.

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Ramoji Rao

By Jyothi Venkatesh

Yet another renowned media mogul has also passed away at the age of 87 just two days after our beloved Raaj Grover passed away at 87. Prominent media baron Cherukuri Ramoji Rao, chairman of Ramoji Group and Padma Vibhushan awardee, passed away after a prolonged illness in the early hours of Saturday, his family members said.

Charukesi Ramoji Rao was an Indian businessman, media entrepreneur, and film producer. He was head of the Ramoji Group which owns the world’s largest film production facility Ramoji Film City, Eenadu newspaper, ETV Network of TV channels, as well as the film production company Usha Kiran Movies, besides Priya Pickle. He died while undergoing treatment at Star Hospital in Hyderabad, taking his last breath at 3:45 am.

Cherukuri Ramoji Rao was born into an ordinary family and rose to extraordinary achievements. It was Ramoji Rao, who revolutionised the Telugu media landscape with his pioneering ventures. Under his leadership, Eenadu became a major force in Telugu journalism. His other successful ventures included Usha Kiran Movies, Mayuri Film Distributors, Margadarsi Chit Fund, and the Dolphin Group of Hotels. Rao also led the ETV Network, making significant contributions to television media.

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In 2016, Rao was awarded India’s second-highest civilian honour, by then-President Pranab Mukherjee. His legacy is vast, encompassing numerous successful business ventures and significant media productions. Ramoji Rao passed away while receiving treatment at Star Hospital in Hyderabad. His legacy continues to inspire many in the fields of media, cinema, and business. The impact of his work will be remembered and cherished for generations to come.

Ramoji Rao is survived by his wife Rama Devi and son Ch Kiran, who is heading the Eenadu group of publications and ETV channels. His younger son, Cherukuri Suman, died of leukemia on September 7, 2012.

Rao’s films under the Usha Kiran Movies banner won several state and national awards. In 2016, he was honoured with Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in the country for his contributions to journalism, literature, and education.

Rao had been suffering from chronic illness and age-related health complications for a long time. He was admitted to Star Hospitals of Nanakramguda in Hyderabad on June 5 afternoon due to respiratory issues and high blood pressure.

“Ramojirao Sir was being treated with ventilator support and was in a critical condition. He breathed his last at Star Hospitals at Nanakramguda at around 4.50 am. His body will be taken to his residence in the Ramoji Film City on the outskirts of Hyderabad in a while today,” a family member said.

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What sets apart Ramoji Rao’s sprawling studios Ramoji Film City on the outskirts of Hyderabad is the saga of spellbinding cine-magic that unfolds, as you step into the sprawling vistas, grand mansions, modern cityscape, rural setting, marketplace, foreign street, and many more. It’s a true variety of sets and locations that have been part of the fictional creation. You will be captivated by the realistic sets of Zamindar’s Haveli to downtown London as well as the railway station, airport, jail, hospital, and trendy pub. The experience would become truly iconic, as you land up in the blockbuster Bahubali set or for that matter book a suite in the hotels’ Tara and Sitara there at Ramoji City.

Ramoji Rao’s visionary leadership and entrepreneurial spirit will be remembered forever and missed. In a show of respect, the Telugu Film Producers Council (TFPC) and Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce (TFCC) announced the suspension of all film shoots on Sunday.

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