30 Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Rupert Murdoch


Coming from a family where members were prominent International Media proprietors across Australia, United States of America and United Kingdom, Rupert Murdoch has established his name all around the world. As the former Australian Prime Minister “Tony Abbott” once said “Murdoch has had more impact on the wider world than any other living Australian.” Here are some very interesting and unknown facts about the media mogul.

  1. He was born as Keith Rupert Murdoch, on March 11, 1931 in Melbourne, Australia. He is son of Sir Keith Murdoch and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. Later in life he came to be called Rupert.
  2. His father was the editor and later senior executive of the ‘Herald and Weekly Times newspaper publishing company. He had three sisters, Janet Calvert Jones, Anne Kantor and late Helen Handbury. The Murdock’s are of English, Irish and Scottish ancestry.
  3. Even as seven year old, Murdoch was very ambitious. He would hunt water rats at his farm for its skin and manure. He sold the skin for sixpence and went around the town selling bags of rabbit manure that he gathered at his farm. He spent his earnings on gambling at school.
  4. He did his schooling at ‘Geelong Grammar Boarding School.’ He was the co-editor of the school’s journal ‘The Corian.’ He led his school cricket team to National Junior Finals.
  5. In 1950, he went to Worcester College, Oxford University, to pursue Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He was normal red-blooded college student who managed Oxford Student Publications Limited, which published weekly News Paper ‘Cherwell.’
  6. He began his journalism career with the ‘Adelaide News.’ He returned home following his father’s death on October 04, 1952, and went about setting right his father business, which was in shambles.
  7. In 1950s his business flourished and started expanding with purchase of ‘Sunday Times,’ Perth and went on to purchase small town newspapers in Darwin, Alice Springs, Mount Isa and women’s magazine ‘New Idea.’ His motto became ‘Expand or die.’
  8. In 1960 he purchased the ‘Daily Mirror’ of Sydney, from Fairfaxes at a bargain price and declared a circulation war by purchasing printing plant in three cities to print more papers.
  9. His paper Mirror published sensational stories, vulgar topics with provocative photographs and ran contest offering expensive prizes. His tabloids were often called yellow journalism.
  10. In January 1964, while on a pleasure trip to New Zealand, he counter-bid for local newspaper ‘The Dominion’ which was on sale, at the spur of a moment and emerged victorious. His mother had noticed that her son was a not the sort of person who liked playing in a team.
  11. In 1964, he launched Australia’s first national newspaper ‘The Australian,’ in Canberra before moving it to Sydney. In 1972, he acquired ‘The Daily Telegraph’ from Sir Frank Packers calling his final victory.
  12. Murdoch speaking for ‘Australian Republic’ warned the voters of losing self-respect during the November 06, 1999 referendum. The republic referendum was defeated.
  13. Murdoch was a supporter of Labor Party right from his Oxford days and threw his growing power behind Australian Labor Party and saw it elected under the leadership of GoughWhitlam.
  14. In 1968 he entered the British newspaper industries after taking over the sensational Sunday newspaper ‘News of the World.’ Next year he bought the ‘The Sun’ for £ 800,000 after coming to an agreement with the union. He optimized the printing press at Bouverie Street in London.
  15. He expanded his empire to United States with the purchase of ‘San Antonio Express-News’ and founded Star Magazine in 1973. In 1976 he acquired the New York Post for $ 30.5 million.
  16. In 1981, Murdoch’s News International acquired ‘The Times’ and ‘Sunday Times’ saving the publication from industrial dispute. He made important changes with introduction of new technology and efficiency measures following agreement with print union.
  17. On September 04, 1985, he became naturalized citizen to own US television stations and in the process he lost his Australian citizenship. He surprised everyone including his wife who realized his strong ambitious drive.
  18. In 1984 Murdoch bought fifty percent stake in the ‘20th Century Fox’ and ‘Metromedia televisions. Later in October 1986 he founded the ‘Fox Broadcasting Company.’
  19. In 1986, he introduced technology up-gradation with electronic production process to his newspaper in Australia, Britain and United States. There was major unrest and violence in the union, resulting in dismissal of 6000 employees. A year later the employees agreed for settlement.
  20. On December 01, 1990, Murdoch convinced rival satellite operated ‘British Satellite Broadcasting’ to accept merger with his ‘Sky Television’ on his term. The merged company ‘BSkyB’ with the advantage of DTH satellite broadcasting has dominated since then.
  21. He has invested in ‘Genie Oil and Gas’ with 5.5 stake in the company and he is a member of Strategic Advisory Board, which conducted oil exploration in Colorado, Mongolia and in Israel.
  22. Murdoch with his large media hold in Britain had greater influence in the political outcome. As a Labour Party supporter he switched alliance with Conservative and took credit for John Major’s victory in 1992. In the subsequent election he became Labour sympathizer and later calling himself as a ‘Libertarian.’
  23. In 1993, he acquired Star TV, a Hong Kong company from Richard Li for $ 1 billion and set up office throughout Asia.
  24. In 1998, his foray into sports management was thwarted. His offer of £ 625 million bid to own ‘Manchester United F.C’ was blocked, when ‘United Kingdom Competition Commission’ objected in the interest of broadcast industries and for the sake of sport.
  25. In October 2006, MSP Tommy Sheridan claims that Murdoch had conspired with MI5 and concocts a videotape of him ‘swinging’ to overthrow his crusade for an independent socialist Scotland. Sheridan had previously sued New International and won on the same allegation.
  26. In June 2016, he declared the ‘Brexit’ result of the EU referendum wonderful and compared it to prison break. His newspaper ‘The Sun’ had urged its reader to vote for a Brexit, while ‘The Times’ took pro-EU stance.
  27. An investigation was conducted upon the allegation of Murdoch’s News International’s employees engaging in phone hacking, police bribery and exercising improper influence in the pursuit of stories. It was revealed that apart from celebrities, phones of the murdered school girl Milly Dowler, and relatives of the deceased British soldiers were hacked.
  28. He is a supporter of the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ and ‘Protect Intellectual Property Act.’ He also supports open immigration policies in western nations.
  29. Murdoch married Patricia Booker, a former shop assistant and flight attendant before divorcing in 1967. He married Anna Maria Torv in the same year and divorced her in June 1999 for a settlement of US $ 1.2 billion. He married for the third time to Wendi Deng on June 25, 1999 and divorced her on June 13, 2013 to marry Jerry Hall on January 11, 2016 at his 85th year.
  30. Murdoch has six children in all and thirteen grandchildren. He was made a ‘Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great,’ a papal honor awarded by Pope John Paul II in January 1998.
  31. Murdoch’s net worth: US $ 13.1 billion.

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