|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–?).The couple were both from the Pitsligo area of Aberdeenshire and emigrated to the Colony of Victoria in 1884.
The Rev. James Murdoch and Helen Murdoch had 14 children:
The Rev. Patrick Murdoch was born in Pitsligo and raised at Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire. He was ordained at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, where he also married Annie Brown (in 1882). At the age of 34, Murdoch emigrated with his wife and parents to Victoria. He was a prominent there as a Presbyterian minister and published several books on theology.
Nora Curle Smith, née Murdoch, was born in Pitsligo and married David Curle Smith (1859–1922), an electrical engineer. Curle Smith who was in charge of the municipal electricity supply at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia during the early 20th century, invented a pioneering electric stove, which he patented in 1906. To promote the stove, Nora Curle Smith wrote the world's first cookbook for electric stoves, which featured 161 recipes and operating instructions for the stove, under the name H. Nora Curle Smith: Thermo-Electrical Cooking Made Easy (1907). Nora Curle Smith was also a noted painter.
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"). 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. 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.
- a journalist and newspaper executive, Keith Arthur Murdoch (1885–1952), better known as Sir Keith Murdoch and;
- a soldier and farmer, Ivon George Murdoch (1892–1958?), also known as Ivan Murdoch.
Sir Keith Murdoch was born in West Melbourne and grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell. He became prominent as a journalist, while serving as a war correspondent during World War I. In 1921, Murdoch was appointed chief editor of the Melbourne Herald and in 1928 became managing director of its parent company, The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd. That same year he married Elisabeth Joy Greene (1909–2012), later who was later prominent as the philanthropist Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE (1909–2012). Murdoch was knighted in 1933. During World War II, Sir Keith Murdoch served briefly in an Australian government role, as Director-General of Information.
Lieutenant Ivon Murdoch MC and bar, saw action with the 8th Battalion (AIF) on the Western Front during World War I. He achieved the rare distinction of twice being awarded the Military Cross (MC) for bravery; his first resulted from him leading extended night patrols, during March and April 1918, south-east of Ypres in No Man's Land and behind German lines, which captured a pillbox and returned wounded men to Australian positions. The second MC was awarded for actions during August 1918 that: successfully defended recently captured German field guns near Rosieres and; set up a machine gun enfilade, during the Battle of Lihons (part of the Hundred Days Offensive). After the war, Ivon Murdoch was a farmer at Wantabadgery, New South Wales.
The children of Andrew Chrystal Murdoch and Annie Murdoch (née Esler) included a prominent concert pianist, William David Murdoch (born at Bendigo, Victoria, Australia in 1888; died at Holmbury St Mary, England, 1942).
The children of Sir Keith and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch included:
Murdoch's career as a media proprietor began in 1952, when he inherited his father's stake in News Limited. 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.
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.
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. 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.
Rupert Murdoch has been married three times and has six children:
- 1956–1967: to Patricia Booker, a flight attendant from Melbourne, with whom he had one child:
- 1967–1999: to Anna Torv (later Anna Murdoch Mann; 1944–), an Estonian-Scottish journalist, who worked on Murdoch's Sydney Daily Telegraph, later published two novels and is the aunt of actress Anna Torv. Torv and Murdoch had three children:
- 1999–2013 Wendi Deng (1969?– ), a Chinese-US media executive and company director, They have two daughters:
- Grace Murdoch (2001– ) and;
- Chloe Murdoch (2003?– ).
Fourth and fifth generations
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:
- 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:
- 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:
- Charlotte Emma Freud (2000– ) and;
- Samson Murdoch Freud (2007– ).
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:
- 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:
- Anneka Murdoch (2003– );
- Walter Murdoch (2006– ) and;
- Emerson Murdoch (2008– ).
- Michael J Wood, 2005, Ancestry of Rupert Murdoch, William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services (17 August 2013).
- Niel Gunson, 1986, "Murdoch, Patrick John (1850–1940)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, (20 August 2013)
- Curle Smith, H. Nora (2011). Thermo-Electrical Cooking Made Easy. (Introduction by H. A. Willis.). Carlisle, Western Australia: Hesperian Press.
- Fred Alexander, 1986, "Murdoch, Sir Walter Logie (1874–1970)", Australian Dictionary of Biography (20 August 2013).
- Patrick and Annie Murdoch's children included:
- Find A Grave, "Alec Brown Shepherd Murdoch", 2011 (16 August 2013)
- Sydney Morning Herald, 27 December 1933, p8.
- Anna King Murdoch, "In metal, the deeds of men lie hidden but immortal", The Age, November 11 2007 (16 August 2013).
- Australian War Memorial, n.d. First World War Embarkation Roll – Ivan George Murdoch (6 September 2013).
- Geoffrey Serle, 1986, "Murdoch, Sir Keith Arthur (1885–1952), Australian Dictionary of Biography (24 October 2013).
- Time, "Censorship Down Under" 30 December 1940 (21 August 2013).
- Morgen Witzel, The Encyclopedia of the History of American Management, 2005; Bristol, England; Thoemmes Continuum, p393.
- Tryhorn, Chris (18 July 2007). "Guardian". The Guardian. London.
- Given, Jock (December 2002). "Foreign Ownership of Media and Telecommunications: an Australian story". Media & Arts Law Review 7 (4): 253.
- "The World's Billionaires No.73 Rupert Murdoch". Forbes. 7 October 2007. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
- "The Irish Examiner". 9 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "So where does Rupert Murdoch go from here?". The Independent (London). 31 July 2005. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- "Rupert Murdoch and His Family". International Business Times. 9 July 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- Hofmeister, Sallie (30 July 2005). "LA Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- Stephen Mayne, "Tracking the Murdoch heirs", The Mayne Report, 2011 (17 August 2013).
- Sir William Arbuthnot, 2011, The Genealogy of the Murdoch Family. (9 May 2014).