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Rupert Murdoch: The Media Mogul in the Eye of a Storm

From his vast media empire to his controversial political activities, here's what you need to know about Rupert Murdoch and why he's been making headlines lately.


Who is Rupert Murdoch and Why is He in the News?

Rupert Murdoch is a media tycoon and business magnate known for his extensive media empire that spans across the globe. His media empire includes newspapers, television networks, film studios, and publishing companies, and he has a net worth of over $20 billion. Despite his enormous success, Murdoch has been involved in several controversies, including a recent lawsuit involving Dominion Voting Systems and Fox News.

Rupert Murdoch
(Associated Press)

How He Got Mega Rich

Rupert Murdoch was born in Melbourne, Australia, on March 11, 1931. He grew up in a family that owned newspapers, and he inherited his father's newspaper, the Adelaide News, in 1952. Murdoch began to expand his media holdings by acquiring other newspapers in Australia, and then expanded his empire to the United Kingdom, purchasing the News of the World and The Sun, among other publications. In the 1980s, Murdoch expanded his media empire to the United States, where he acquired a number of newspapers and TV stations, including the New York Post and the Fox Broadcasting Company. Today, his media empire includes some of the world's most influential media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, and Fox News.


Rupert Murdoch's Personal Life

Murdoch has been married four times and has six children. His third marriage to Wendi Deng, a former News Corp. employee, ended in divorce in 2013. In 2016, Murdoch married Jerry Hall, a model and actress. Murdoch's personal life has sometimes impacted his business dealings, as was the case with his highly publicized divorce from Deng.


Rupert Murdoch Net Worth

Rupert Murdoch has a current net worth of $22.1 billion, according to Forbes. He has amassed his fortune through his extensive media holdings and other business ventures. Murdoch's media empire includes not only newspapers and television networks but also book publishing, film production, and real estate.


Rupert Murdoch and Dominion Voting Systems

In late 2020, Dominion Voting Systems filed a lawsuit against Fox News and some of its hosts, including Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo, alleging that they had spread false information about the company and its role in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch's media empire, and as such, Murdoch has been drawn into the controversy. In February 2023, Murdoch gave testimony in the lawsuit, denying any knowledge of wrongdoing by Fox News or its hosts. The case is ongoing and has the potential to impact not only Fox News but also Murdoch's wider media empire.


Rupert Murdoch and Political Activities in the United States

Rupert Murdoch is known for his conservative political views, and his media outlets often reflect those views. In the United States, Fox News has been accused of promoting right-wing views and engaging in biased reporting. Murdoch has also been involved in several high-profile political activities, including supporting various political leaders and parties. His media empire has the potential to shape public opinion and influence political outcomes.


Timeline of Rupert Murdoch’s Life

  • 1952: Rupert Murdoch's father dies, leaving him control of News Ltd. in Adelaide, Australia.

  • 1954: Murdoch begins running News Ltd.

  • 1956: Purchases Perth's Sunday Times.

  • 1960: Purchases Sydney newspapers the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror.

  • 1964: Starts The Australian, a national paper.

  • 1969: Becomes a London publisher when he gains control of the paper News of the World. Also acquires The Sun, which he transforms into a tabloid.

  • 1973: Expands to the United States by purchasing the San Antonio Express and the San Antonio News.

  • 1974: Moves to the United States and starts the National Star weekly tabloid to compete with the National Enquirer.

  • 1976: Purchases the New York Post.

  • 1977: Purchases New York Magazine, Corp.

  • 1979: Forms News Corporation in Australia.

  • 1981: Purchases The Times of London.

  • 1982: Purchases The Boston Herald.

  • 1983: Purchases the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • 1985: Purchases Twentieth Century Fox.

  • September 1985: Becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States.

  • 1986: Purchases several US television stations and creates Fox Broadcasting.

  • 1987: Purchases US publishing house Harper & Row for $300 million.

  • 1988: Sells the New York Post.

  • 1990: Merges Harper and Row and two other publishing operations into HarperCollins.

  • 1993: Purchases Star TV.

  • 1993: Buys back the New York Post.

  • 1996: Launches the Fox News Channel.

  • 1998-2004: Owns the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.

  • 2000: Treated for prostate cancer.

  • 2004: Shifts News Corp. incorporation from Australia to the United States.

  • 2005: Purchases Intermix Media, owner of MySpace.com.

  • 2007: Purchases Dow Jones.

  • March 2011: Murdoch's son, James, is named News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer and chairman and CEO of News International.

  • July 2011: Sells Myspace.com and personally apologizes for the phone hacking scandal via full-page ads in seven national newspapers.

  • July 19, 2011: Murdoch and his son, James, testify before Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee on the phone hacking scandal enveloping News Group Intl.

  • June 28, 2012: News Corp. confirms plans to split into two publicly traded companies, one for television and film assets, and the other for newspaper and book publishing entities.

  • January 2015: Criticized for tweeting about "Moslems" in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

  • January 2016: Announces his engagement to Jerry Hall.

  • July 21, 2016: Takes over as chairman and acting CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

  • August 12, 2016: Names Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy as co-presidents of Fox News.

  • December 9, 2016: Murdoch's 21st Century Fox strikes a deal to take full control of Sky, one of the world's leading pay-TV providers.

  • June 29, 2017: The British government rules that Murdoch's 21st Century Fox should not acquire Sky.


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