Melbourne, Victoria, Australia was the birthplace of Keith Rupert Murdoch. He was born into a wealthy family in 1931 and his father was a leading owner of many newspapers. Young Murdoch was sent to Oxford University while a young teen and he was only 22 years old when the elder Murdoch suddenly died under what was deemed suspicious circumstances.
As the heir to the newspaper family business Keith Rupert began to assume many executive duties and in 1953 he became the managing director of the News Limited. Soon his attentions would focus on the expansion of the Murdoch empire and he set about acquiring many of the competing news publications.
His first buyout was the Perth based Sunday Times. The brash young businessman utilized many of the tabloid fundamentals that he had learned from both Lord Northcliffe. Soon the struggling Sunday Times had become a major success. Expanding his reach, Rupert Murdoch began acquiring other newspaper businesses such as The Daily Mirror. It would not be long before Murdoch took control of The Dominion paper in New Zealand. This would be followed by additional takeovers that would eventually lead to Rupert Murdoch becoming the dominant stock shareholder for the New Zealand Independent Newspapers Limited media group. He would retain this prominent position until 2003.
Murdoch was directly responsible for the debut of Australia’s 1st daily newspaper to achieve national prominence, The Australian. This paper would help boost Rupert Murdoch’s personal stock and would earn him a reputation for heading a serious, quality newspaper. Additional businesses were added to the rapidly expanding Murdoch network but once he had made conquests in Australia, New Zealand and Britain his eye was on moving into the US newspaper world.
The first of Murdoch’s many acquisitions in the US would occur in 1973. This was the year when Rupert Murdoch would seal a deal that gave him the San Antonio Express-News. Shortly after this buy was completed he created a tabloid that would become a fixture on news stands and supermarket checkout aisles, The Star. 3 years after making his first US newspaper buyout Rupert Murdoch would take over the New York Post.
Murdoch still wanted to add to his thriving media empire and in order to purchase a US television station he became a naturalized United States citizen in September of 1985. His Fox Network would be embroiled in controversy and scrutiny at the beginning but today this network is a major player in the market. In 1995 Rupert Murdoch cinched a deal with communications giant MCI that provided for the development of The Weekly Standard which was to be a combined project involving both a news website and a magazine.
His most recent acquisition was that of the 2007 purchase of the US based financial journal, the Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones Company from the Bancroft family. The Bancrofts initially rebuffed the News Corp offers but after 3 months and a sweetened offer of $60 per share or just more than $5 billion.
Even though he has had to battle lawsuits, enormous debts and a shifting world economy Rupert Murdoch continues to be a leader in the world of media and communications. He recently celebrated his 79th birthday and his current personal net worth is estimated to be $4 billion dollars.