Murdoch family

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ethnicity Scottish Australian; Anglo-Celtic Australian; British; United States
Current region Australia; United Kingdom; United States;
Place of origin Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Members Sir Walter Murdoch; Sir Keith Murdoch; Rupert Murdoch; Elisabeth Murdoch (junior); James Murdoch; Lachlan Murdoch.
Connected members Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (née Greene; 1909–2012); Matthew Freud; Sarah Murdoch (née O'Hare)

Members of the Murdoch family  are prominent as international media  proprietors,  especially in Australia, the United Kingdom  and United States. Some members have also been prominent in the arts, clergy and military in Australia. Five generations of the family are descended from two Scottish emigrants to Australia: the Reverend James Murdoch (1828–?), a minister of the Free Church of Scotland  and his wife Helen, née Garden (1826–?).[1]The couple were both from the Pitsligo  area of Aberdeenshire  and emigrated to the Colony of Victoria  in 1884.[1]

First generation[edit]

The Peel campus of Murdoch University, which is named after Sir Walter Murdoch.

Sir Walter Murdoch KCMG, who was born at Rosehearty, was a prominent Australian academic and essayist. He married Violet Catherine Hughston in 1897. Murdoch published his first essay, "The new school of Australian poets", in 1899 and for many years he wrote a weekly column titled "Books and Men" for the Melbourne Argus (under the pen name of "Elzevir").[4] His academic career began with an appointment in 1904 as an assistant lecturer in English at Melbourne University. In 1913, he was appointed founding Professor of English at the University of Western Australia (UWA). During the 1920s, his essays were syndicated across Australia through the Herald & Weekly Times newspaper group run by his nephew, Sir Keith Murdoch (see below). Collections of Walter Murdoch's writings were published in book form from the 1930s onwards. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1939, served as Chancellor of UWA in 1943–1948 and was made a Professor Emeritus upon his retirement. Violet Murdoch died in 1952 and 10 years later Murdoch remarried, to Barbara Marshall Cameron. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1964.[4] Murdoch University, the second Western Australian institution to achieve university status, was named in his honour, as was the surrounding suburb of Murdoch. Both Murdoch University, in Perth and the suburb surrounding its main campus, Murdoch are named after Sir Walter Murdoch. The university has three campuses in Western Australia, as well as international study centres in Dubai and Singapore.

Two of Patrick and Annie Murdoch's six children achieved prominence:[1][5][6][7][8][9]

Second generation[edit]

Third generation[edit]

Rupert Murdoch at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, 2007.
Main article: Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch AC KSG, born in Melbourne, is a major international media proprietor – he chairs two United States-based companies that control most of his assets: News Corp and 21st Century Fox.

Murdoch's career as a media proprietor began in 1952, when he inherited his father's stake in News Limited.[12] The company's only major asset was an in Adelaide daily newspaper distributed only in South Australia, The News. During the 1950s and 1960s, News Ltd acquired daily and weekly newspapers, including suburban and provincial publications, throughout Australia and New Zealand.

From 1968, Murdoch bought British newspapers, beginning with the weekly News of the World and the daily The Sun.[13]

Murdoch made his first acquisition in the United States in 1973, when he purchased the San Antonio Express-News. Soon afterwards, he founded a US supermarket tabloid Star, and in 1976, he purchased the New York Post.[12]

In 1981, Murdoch acquired The Times of London and The Sunday Times.

He bought a major stake in 20th Century Fox in 1984, which became the basis of a new US free to air television network, Fox Broadcasting Company.[12] To satisfy a legal requirement that only US citizens could own US television stations, Murdoch became a naturalised US citizen in 1985, and consequently forfeited his Australian citizenship.[14][15]

During the 1980s and 1990s, Murdoch became involved in pay television interests throughout the world, including STAR TV and Tata Sky in Asia and BSkyB, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland in Europe.

NewsCorp also came to control both a major international publishing house HarperCollins, and Dow Jones & Company, which includes The Wall Street Journal.

Rupert Murdoch has been married three times and has six children:

Fourth and fifth generations[edit]

Prue Murdoch (born in Adelaide) has held directorial roles within the News Corporation empire. She has been married twice:

  • 1985–c. 1986, to British financier Crispin Odey
  • since 1989, to: British media executive Charles Alasdair MacLeod (usually known as Alasdair MacLeod). Both Prue and Alasdair MacLeod hold or have held directorial and/or executive roles within the News Corporation empire. They have three children:[20]
    • James MacLeod (1991– );
    • Angus MacLeod (1993– ) and;
    • Clementine MacLeod (1996– )

Elisabeth Murdoch (born in Sydney), is a media executive and company director and has been married twice.

  • 1993–1998: to Elkin Kwesi Pianim, a Ghanaian banker, with whom she had two children:[20]
    • Cornelia Pianim (1994– );
    • Anna Pianim (1997– );
  • since 2001: to British public relations specialist Matthew Freud (the son of former MP Sir Clement Freud, and a great-grandson of Sigmund Freud), with whom she had two children:[20]
    • Charlotte Emma Freud (2000– ) and;
    • Samson Murdoch Freud (2007– ).
Lachlan Murdoch
James R Murdoch

Lachlan Murdoch (born in London), is a media executive and company director; he married the British-Australian model and actress Sarah Murdoch, née O'Hare (1972– ) in 1999; they have three children:[20][21]

  • Kalan Alexander Murdoch (2004– );
  • Aidan Patrick Murdoch (2006– ) and;
  • Aerin Elisabeth Murdoch (2010– ).

James R Murdoch (born in London), is a media executive and company director. In 2000, he married the US public relations specialist and climate change activist Kathryn Hufschmid. They have three children:[20]

  • Anneka Murdoch (2003– );
  • Walter Murdoch (2006– ) and;
  • Emerson Murdoch (2008– ).


  1. ^ a b c d e Michael J Wood, 2005, Ancestry of Rupert Murdoch, William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services (17 August 2013).
  2. ^ Niel Gunson, 1986, "Murdoch, Patrick John (1850–1940)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, (20 August 2013)
  3. ^ Curle Smith, H. Nora (2011). Thermo-Electrical Cooking Made Easy. (Introduction by H. A. Willis.). Carlisle, Western Australia: Hesperian Press. 
  4. ^ a b Fred Alexander, 1986, "Murdoch, Sir Walter Logie (1874–1970)", Australian Dictionary of Biography (20 August 2013).
  5. ^ Patrick and Annie Murdoch's children included:
    • George Murdoch (1883–1891);
    • Keith Arthur Murdoch (1885–1952);
    • Francis Garden Murdoch (1887–1933), a company director;
    • Alec Brown Shepherd Murdoch (1889–1920) and;
    • Ivon George Murdoch (1892–1958?) and;
    • Alan May Murdoch (1894–1971).
  6. ^ Find A Grave, "Alec Brown Shepherd Murdoch", 2011 (16 August 2013)
  7. ^ Sydney Morning Herald, 27 December 1933, p8.
  8. ^ a b c Anna King Murdoch, "In metal, the deeds of men lie hidden but immortal", The Age, November 11 2007 (16 August 2013).
  9. ^ a b c Australian War Memorial, n.d. First World War Embarkation Roll – Ivan George Murdoch (6 September 2013).
  10. ^ Geoffrey Serle, 1986, "Murdoch, Sir Keith Arthur (1885–1952), Australian Dictionary of Biography (24 October 2013).
  11. ^ Time, "Censorship Down Under" 30 December 1940 (21 August 2013).
  12. ^ a b c Morgen Witzel, The Encyclopedia of the History of American Management, 2005; Bristol, England; Thoemmes Continuum, p393.
  13. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (18 July 2007). "Guardian". The Guardian. London.  |contribution= ignored (help)
  14. ^ Given, Jock (December 2002). "Foreign Ownership of Media and Telecommunications: an Australian story". Media & Arts Law Review 7 (4): 253. 
  15. ^ "The World's Billionaires No.73 Rupert Murdoch". Forbes. 7 October 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2009. 
  16. ^ a b c "The Irish Examiner". 9 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2013.  |contribution= ignored (help)
  17. ^ a b "So where does Rupert Murdoch go from here?". The Independent (London). 31 July 2005. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Rupert Murdoch and His Family". International Business Times. 9 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  19. ^ Hofmeister, Sallie (30 July 2005). "LA Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 August 2013.  |contribution= ignored (help)
  20. ^ a b c d e Stephen Mayne, "Tracking the Murdoch heirs", The Mayne Report, 2011 (17 August 2013).
  21. ^ Sir William Arbuthnot, 2011, The Genealogy of the Murdoch Family. (9 May 2014).