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Table of Contents

Who Is Rupert Murdoch?

Rupert Murdoch is a renowned media executive, co-chairman of the Fox Corporation, and the executive chairman of News Corp, the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins, and the New York Post.

As of 2022, Rupert Murdoch has an estimated net worth of $18.1 billion.

Key Takeaways

  • Rupert Murdoch is co-chairman of the Fox Corporation and the executive chairman of News Corp.
  • He inherited a chain of newspapers at age 22 following the death of his father.
  • Murdoch is credited for creating the modern tabloid, newspapers with stories that focused on controversy, crime, and scandal.
  • Rupert Murdoch sold the majority of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets to the Walt Disney Company for $71.3 billion in 2019.

Early Life and Education

Rupert Murdoch was born on March 11, 1931, in Melbourne, Australia. He graduated from Worcester College, Oxford in England.

While in college, Rupert joined the Daily Express in London as an editor, a role which would prepare him for his role as managing director of News Corp Australia at the age of 22.  He once noted “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."

News Corp

After the death of his father, Sir Keith Murdoch, in 1952, Rupert Murdoch inherited News Corp Australia, a publisher of several popular newspapers in Australia and founded in 1923 by James Edward Davidson.

In 1954, Murdoch acquired News Limited, an Australian public corporation and owner of the daily newspaper in Adelaide, South Australia.

By 1969, News Corp bought the Daily Mirror in Sydney, launched a national newspaper, The Australian, and purchased newspapers The Sun and News of the World in the United Kingdom. Once referred to as the inventor of the ''modern tabloid,'' Murdoch's newspapers focused on eye-catching headlines that principally centered around stories of scandal and controversy, resulting in a spike in circulation.

Tabloid

A newspaper dominated by headlines, photographs, and sensational stories focused on scandal and controversy.

By 1973, Rupert Murdoch began a series of acquisitions in the United States including the San Antonio News, the Star in 1974, New York magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times. He expanded to book publishing, acquiring Harper & Row in 1987, and later Collins, both subsequently merged to form HarperCollins.

In 2007, Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal parent company, Dow Jones for $6 billion, ending a century of ownership by the wealthy Bancroft family.

FOX

In 1985, News Corp purchased Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and the studio subsequently produced the two top-grossing films of all time, Titanic and Avatar. The Company created the Fox Television Stations group, the foundation for the launch of FOX Broadcasting Company and FOX Sports.

FOX lead the television industry for eight years and in October 1996, News Corporation launched the FOX News Channel and established popular cable networks, such as FX and the National Geographic Channels.

In 2012, News Corp acquired Consolidated Media Holdings in Australia, and News Corp Australia is now a majority shareholder of Foxtel/FOX SPORTS Australia, which owns and operates Sky News Australia.

Murdoch has been the executive chairman of News Corp since 2013, when News Corporation separated into two distinct, publicly traded companies, News Corp and 21st Century Fox. In March 2019, Rupert Murdoch sold his share of 21st Century Fox to the Walt Disney Company for $71.3 billion.

What Tabloid Scandal Involved Rupert Murdoch's newspaper News of the World?

In 2011, investigations determined that News of the World employees had systemically hacked into the phones of politicians, celebrities, and people in the news, including murder victims and their relatives, to produce exclusive features.

What Notable Awards Has Rupert Murdoch Received?

Murdoch was named an honoree of the Television Hall of Fame in 2014 and received a lifetime achievement award in 2021 from the Australia Day Foundation for his contribution to the media industry.

What Charitable Organizations Does Rupert Murdoch Support?

Since 2013, News Corp has partnered with US-based nonprofits such as A Better Chance, Girls Who Code, and Homes for Our Troops, investing in students in under-resourced communities, supporting veterans as they transition to civilian life, and aiding organizations that protect journalists and further news literacy.

The Bottom Line

Rupert Murdoch is regarded as a successful media investor who built News Corp through a series of strategic global acquisitions and innovations. As co-chairman of the Fox Corporation and the executive chairman of News Corp, Murdoch controls a journalism empire that includes cable channel Fox News, Sky News Australia, and The Wall Street Journal.

Article Sources
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  1. Forbes. "Rupert Murdoch."

  2. Jerome Tuccille. "Rupert Murdoch: Creator of a Worldwide Media Empire."

  3. The Economist. "Last of the Moguls."

  4. News Corp. "About."

  5. The Conversation. "Rupert Murdoch and the News International Tabloid Grotesquerie."

  6. News Corp. "News Corp Philanthropy Partners."

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