Rupert Murdoch biography
Rupert Murdoch was born on March 11, 1931 in Melbourne, Australia. His father was a famous war correspondent and newspaper publisher. Murdoch inherited his father's papers, the Sunday Mail and The News, and continued to purchase other media
Businessman, publisher. Keith Rupert Murdoch was born March 11, 1931 on a small farm about 30 miles south of Melbourne, Australia. Since birth, Murdoch has gone by his middle name, Rupert, the name of his maternal grandfather. His father, Keith Murdoch, was a well-known Australian journalist who owned a number of local and regional newspapers: the Herald in Melbourne, the Courier-Mail in Brisbane and the News and Sunday Mail in Adelaide. Rupert Murdoch's mother, Elisabeth Greene, married Keith Murdoch when she was only 19 years old and he was 42.
The family farm was named Cruden Farm, after the Scottish village from which both of Murdoch's parents had emigrated. The house at Cruden Farm was a stone building with colonial pillars, adorned with original paintings, a grand piano, and a library of books, situated amongst green expanses of farmland and bordered by Ghost Gum trees. Murdoch's favorite childhood pastime was horseback riding. His mother later described her son's childhood: "I think it was a very normal childhood, not in any way elaborate or an overindulged one. I suppose he was lucky to be brought up in attractive — you could say aesthetic — surroundings."
The son of a well-respected journalist, Murdoch was groomed to enter the world of publishing from a very young age. He remembers, "I was brought up in a publishing home, a newspaper man's home, and was excited by that, I suppose. I saw that life at close range, and after the age of ten or twelve never really considered any other." Murdoch graduated from Geelong Grammar, a prestigious Australian boarding school, in 1949 before crossing the ocean to attend Worcester College at Oxford University in England. According to one of his early biographers, Murdoch was a "a normal, red-blooded college student who had many friends, chased girls, went on the usual drinking binges, engaged in slapdash horseplay, tried at sports, and never had enough money, no doubt due to his gambling." Murdoch's fun-loving youthful ways came to an abrupt end when his father suddenly passed away in 1952, leaving his son the owner of his Adelaide newspapers, the News and the Sunday Mail. After preparing himself with a brief apprenticeship under Lord Beaverbrook at the Daily Express in London, in 1953 a 22-year-old Murdoch returned to Australia to take up the reins of his father's papers.
Immediately upon assuming control of the Sunday Mail and the News, Murdoch immersed himself in all aspects of the papers' daily operations. He wrote headlines, redesigned page layouts and labored in the typesetting and printing rooms. He quickly converted the News into a chronicle of crime, sex and scandal, and while these changes were controversial, the paper's circulation soared.
Only three years later, in 1956, Murdoch expanded his operations by purchasing the Perth-based Sunday Times, and revamped it in the sensationalist style of the News. Then in 1960 Murdoch broke into the lucrative Sydney market by purchasing the struggling afternoon daily, the Mirror, and slowly transforming it into Sydney's best-selling afternoon paper. Encouraged by his success and harboring ambitions of political influence, in 1965 Murdoch founded Australia's first national daily paper, the Australian, which helped to rebuild Murdoch's image as a respectable news publisher.
In the fall of 1968, 37 years old and owner of an Australian news empire valued at $50 million, Murdoch moved to London and purchased the enormously popular Sunday tabloid, The News of the World. One year later, he purchased a struggling daily tabloid, the Sun, once again transformed the paper into a wild success with his formula of reporting heavily on sex, sports and crime. The Sun also attracted readers by including pictures of topless women in its infamous "Page 3" feature.
Murdoch next expanded his news empire to the United States, with the 1973 acquisition of a Texas-based tabloid, the San Antonio News. As he had done in Australia and England, Murdoch quickly set out to expand across the country, founding a national tabloid, the Star, in 1974 and purchasing the New York Post in 1976. In 1979, Murdoch founded News Corporation, commonly referred to as News Corp, as a holding company for his various media properties.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Murdoch acquired news outlets around the globe at a dizzying pace. In the United States, he bought up the Chicago Sun-Times, the Village Voice and New York magazine. In England, he acquired the eminently respectable Times and Sunday Times of London.
It was also during these years that Murdoch began expanding his media empire into television and entertainment. In 1985, he purchased Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation as well as several independent television stations and consolidated these companies into Fox, Inc. — which has since become a major American television network. In 1990, he founded STAR TV, a Hong Kong-based television broadcasting company that broadcasts to over 320 million viewers across Asia. Throughout the late 1980s, he purchased several prestigious American and British academic and literary publishing companies and consolidated them into HarperCollins in 1990. Murdoch has also invested in sports; he is a part owner of the Los Angeles Kings NHL franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers NBA franchise and the Staples Center, as well as Fox Sports Radio and FoxSports.com.
In recent years, Murdoch has continued to expand News Corp's holdings to control more and more of the media people view on a daily basis. In 2005, he purchased Intermix Media, the owner of the popular social networking site MySpace.com. Two years later, in 2007, the longtime newspaper mogul made headlines himself with the purchase of Dow Jones, the owner of the Wall Street Journal.
Rupert Murdoch married Patricia Booker in 1956, and they had a daughter, Prudence, before divorcing in 1965. He married Anna Torv in 1967, and they had four children before eventually divorcing in 1999. Only seventeen days after his second divorce, Murdoch married third wife Wendi Deng. They have two children.
Murdoch has drawn wide criticism for monopolizing control over international media outlets as well as for his conservative political views, which are often reflected in the reporting of Murdoch-controlled outlets such as Fox News Channel. In the 2010 American midterm elections, News Corp donated $1 million each to the Republican Governors Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group supporting Republican candidates. Critics argued that the owner of major news sources covering the election should not contribute directly to the political campaigns involved.
Murdoch's News Corporation now controls a significant share of virtually all forms of media across the globe. He owns many of the books and newspapers people read, the television shows and films they watch, the radio stations they listen to, the websites they visit, and the blogs and social networks they create. He has amassed a fortune of approximately $6.2 billion, and Forbes magazine recently ranked him ahead of many heads of state as the thirteenth most powerful person in the world.
Although he could never have imagined the power he would one day yield, this kind of influence was exactly what Murdoch sought as a young publisher building his empire. "I sensed the excitement and the power," he recalls. "Not raw power, but the ability to influence at least the agenda of what was going on." And after six decades working in the media, Murdoch says he could not imagine his life any other way. He says, "If you're in the media, particularly newspapers, you are in the thick of all the interesting things that are going on in a community& I can't imagine any other life that one would want to dedicate oneself to."