Rupert Murdoch, an Australian-born American businessman and Media tycoon who started a small family newspaper company more than seven decades back in Australia has created history by turning it into arguably the most powerful conservative media conglomerate.
Today, News Corp commands a market cap of approximately $13.50 billion and is considered to be one of the most influential companies worldwide.
Five generations of the Murdoch family are descended from two Scottish immigrants to Australia, the Reverend James Murdoch (1818–1884) and his spouse Helen, née Garden (1826–1905).
We will try to know more about the Murdoch family and its patriarch, Rupert Murdoch, in our article today.
Who is Rupert Murdoch?
91-Year-Old Australian-born Rupert Murdoch is the media mogul who transformed a small newspaper company into News Corporation, Ltd, the multi-billion dollar global media empire.
He inherited it initially from his late father more than seven decades ago in 1952 which is now spread across various segments like cable, film, television, internet, satellite, sports, publishing, and others.
The business conglomerate was owning newspaper companies like News of the World, the Sun, the New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal. The company also owned Twentieth Century Fox film studio, the Fox Broadcasting network, Fox News Channel, HarperCollins publishing, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Many of his children have followed in his footsteps in the family business. It is said that Murdoch is known for his ruthlessness. During the early stage of his career, he developed the tactic of handling competition either by buying its competitors or running them out of business.
The group was involved in many controversies in 2011, the company’s dealings at the British tabloid papers were scrutinized when it was revealed that reporters were involved in hacking the phones of royals, celebrities, and also crime victims to make interesting stories.
In 2016, the Murdoch family brand was in the news as Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News Channel was forced to leave the company amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Marriage and Kids
Rupert Murdoch has been married four times and is a father to six children.
He first married Patricia Booker in 1956. She was a flight attendant from Melbourne. The couple got separated in 1967 and share one child, Mrs. Prudence MacLeod together.
His second marriage was to Anna Maria Torv in 1967. She was a Scottish journalist who worked with Murdoch’s Sydney Daily Telegraph. The couple divorced after 32 years in 1999. They had three children – Elisabeth Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, and James Murdoch.
He then married Wendi Deng, a Chinese-US media executive and company director in 1999. Their marriage lasted for 14 years. They had two daughters, Grace and Chloe.
His fourth marriage is to Jerry Hall in 2016 to till date.
Lachlan Murdoch is Rupert Murdoch’s oldest son with his second wife, Anna. 50-Year-Old Lachlan started getting involved in the family business when he was very young.
He joined as an intern at his father’s media outlets. He then rose through the executive ranks very quickly and soon became chairman and chief executive of News Ltd in 1997.
Back then, his father even referred to him as his heir apparent, “the first among equals.” His ascension went without any hiccups until 2005 wherein he quit his executive positions at News Corporation abruptly.
He was involved in a tussle with Ailes over the prospects of the cable news network. He then launched his own investment company, Illyria Pty, in Australia.
After staying away for quite a long time he made a comeback to the family business in 2014 and became CEO of Fox Broadcasting and executive chairman at 21st Century Fox.
In 2019, Rupert sold 21st Century Fox to Disney. Lachlan is now the executive chair and CEO of Fox Corporation and co-chairman of News Corp.
James Murdoch is Rupert Murdoch’s fourth child and second son with Anna. 49-Year-old James’ preference for his career was at odds with his dad’s conservative newspaper empire.
He started Rawkus Records, a hip-hop record label company after he dropped out of Harvard in the year 1995. After many years he assumed the role of the executive in News Corporation.
When his elder brother Lachlan left the company in 2005, he was seen as the new heir apparent to his father. He became chairman of BSkyB in 2007. Four years later he was named deputy COO of News Corporation, and chairman and CEO of News International.
James was forced to resign from his post because of the phone-hacking scandal. Many years later he made come back to the family business and became chairman of Sky and CEO of 21st Century Fox.
He was leading the company along with his older brother Lachlan, however, their joint leadership did not work out and he eventually left 21st Century Fox in 2019 when the company was sold to Disney.
Elisabeth Murdoch is Rupert Murdoch’s second child and the first child he shared with Anna. 53-year-old Elisabeth started her career as an intern in the family business and other entry-level jobs at his real estate arm, Murdoch properties.
After a few years, she became managing director of Sky Networks at BSkyB in 1996. She was later handed over for the role of chief executive at Sky. According to Rupert Murdoch, Elisabeth is most like him.
However, he was not willing to give her the throne as he pointed out that she will have to figure out how many kids she wants to have before planning for considering a position at the company.
She then left her family business to establish her own company Shine which became one of the biggest independent production companies in the UK. It had shows like “The Biggest Loser,” “Master Chef,” and “History Cold Case” under its umbrella.
News Corporation acquired her company in 2011. Elisabeth then tried to become a board member of the News Corporation but it failed because of the ruckus over the phone-hacking scandal.