10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rupert Murdoch & Family

When it comes to media moguls, Rupert Murdoch is a name that stands out. As the founder of News Corporation, the world’s second-largest media conglomerate, Murdoch’s influence on the global media landscape is undeniable. However, there’s more to this Australian-born tycoon than meets the eye. In this article, we delve into ten intriguing facts about Rupert Murdoch and his influential family.

1. Early Life in Australia

Before making his mark on the international media scene, Rupert Murdoch grew up in Melbourne, Australia. Born in 1931, he is the son of Sir Keith Murdoch, a prominent journalist, and philanthropist. Murdoch inherited his father’s passion for newspapers and the media industry from an early age. He attended several prestigious schools, including Geelong Grammar School and Worcester College, Oxford, where he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

2. Media Empire Building

One of the most remarkable feats of Murdoch’s career is building a global media empire from scratch. In 1952, he inherited The Adelaide News from his father and promptly turned it into a thriving business. Over the years, Murdoch expanded News Corporation to include major newspapers like The Times and The Sun in the UK, The New York Post in the US, and The Australian in his home country. He also acquired numerous television networks, including the Fox Broadcasting Company in the United States.

3. Controversial Acquisitions

Murdoch has never been one to shy away from controversial acquisitions. In 1969, he purchased the British newspaper, News of the World, which would later become embroiled in a phone hacking scandal that ultimately led to its closure in 2011. Another controversial acquisition was that of the Dow Jones & Company, the owner of The Wall Street Journal, in 2007. Many feared that Murdoch’s ownership could compromise the newspaper’s editorial independence, leading to widespread criticism.

4. Impact on Politics

Aside from his vast media holdings, Rupert Murdoch has had a significant influence on politics around the world. He is known for using his media platforms to endorse political candidates and push specific agendas. Notably, his publications in the UK, such as The Sun and The Times, have been known to sway elections with their endorsements. Murdoch has also been a prominent supporter of conservative politicians, including former US President Donald Trump and former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

5. Sky Television Takeover

In 1989, Rupert Murdoch made a bold move by acquiring British satellite television broadcaster, Sky Television, which later became British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB). This acquisition allowed Murdoch to expand his influence over the media landscape in the UK significantly. However, it faced several regulatory hurdles, including challenges from rival broadcasters concerned about his growing dominance. Despite the opposition, the acquisition paved the way for the future success of his media ventures.

6. Family and Succession

Rupert Murdoch’s family has played a vital role in his media empire. He has been married three times and has six children. Perhaps the most famous of his offspring is Lachlan Murdoch, who has been heavily involved in the family business and served as the Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox. Additionally, Rupert’s other son, James Murdoch, held various executive positions within the company until his resignation in 2020 due to disagreements over its editorial content.

7. Philanthropic Efforts

While Murdoch’s media empire has brought him immense wealth, he is also known for his philanthropy. Through the Murdoch Family Trust, he has donated significant sums to various charitable causes, including education and scientific research. Murdoch has supported organizations like the Knight Scholars Program, the Yale University Centre for the Study of Globalization, and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia.

8. Influence on Sports

In addition to his media ventures, Rupert Murdoch has had a considerable impact on the world of sports. Through his company, News Corporation, he launched the Fox Sports Network, which became a major player in broadcasting sporting events in the United States. Murdoch’s influence also extended to cricket, where he founded the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2007, revolutionizing the sport in India and garnering a massive fanbase.

9. Scandals and Investigations

Murdoch’s media empire has faced its fair share of scandals and investigations. The most prominent of these was the phone hacking scandal that engulfed News of the World, resulting in investigations, criminal charges, and the closure of the publication. Additionally, allegations of political bias, controversies surrounding climate change coverage, and ethical concerns have plagued Murdoch’s media outlets throughout the years.

10. A Lasting Legacy

As Rupert Murdoch approaches his nineties, he leaves behind a lasting legacy in the global media industry. Regardless of one’s opinion on his influence or political leanings, there is no denying his knack for building an empire and transforming the media landscape. Murdoch’s impact on journalism and broadcasting will continue to be felt for years to come.

For more information on Rupert Murdoch and his media empire, visit the official website of News Corporation.